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Fuel tanker fire kills more than 90 outside Sierra Leone's capital

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By Daniel Bellamy  with AP
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Fuel tanker fire kills more than 90 outside Sierra Leone's capital
Copyright  Twitter - Julius Maada Bio

At least 92 people have died and dozens more have been injured after an oil tanker exploded near Sierra Leone's capital Freetown.

The explosion occurred after a large crowd gathered to collect leaking fuel, according to officials.

A bus collided with the tanker late on Friday in Wellington, a suburb just to the east of Freetown.

Video from AFP of the explosion's aftermath showed multiple fires burning and some cars in flames at the roadside.

The mortuary at Connaught Hospital reported 92 bodies had been brought in by Saturday morning. About 30 severely burned victims were not expected to survive, one hospital official said.

Injured people whose clothes had burned off in the fire that followed the explosion lay naked on stretchers as nurses attended to them on Saturday.

President Julius Maada Bio, who is in Scotland attending the United Nations climate talks, deplored "the ``horrendous loss of life'' on Saturday.

"``My profound sympathies with families who have lost loved ones and those who have been maimed as a result,'' he tweeted.

Vice President Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh visited two hospitals overnight and said Sierra Leone's National Disaster Management Agency and others would "work tirelessly'' in the wake of the emergency.