At least 60 dead after tanker truck explosion in Haiti
The explosion of a tanker truck has killed at least 60 people in Haiti. The truck, loaded with gasoline, apparently overturned in Cap-Haïtien during an evasive maneuver, said the port city's deputy mayor, Patrick Almonor.
Numerous residents then approached to siphon off gasoline before the fuel detonated, he said. Surrounding houses caught fire, he said.
Gov. Ariel Henry ordered a three-day national mourning. He promised that field hospitals would be set up to care for the wounded. Local hospitals are overburdened in view of the large number of injured. The United Nations regional office in Haiti offered assistance to authorities.
Generators without fuel
There has been a severe shortage of gasoline in the Central American island nation for some time. Blockades and attacks by criminal gangs that control major roads are preventing fuel deliveries. Fuel is also needed for generators because the power plants do not provide enough electricity. The energy crisis is also hindering the operation of the few hospitals in the country.
Haiti is the poorest country on the American continent. According to the United Nations, about 4.4 of the country's eleven million inhabitants need humanitarian aid. The consequences of the assassination of then President Jovenel Moïse in July and a major earthquake in August are still being felt.