By Benjamin Flowers: Today, Dr. Carla Barnett, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) expressed condolences on behalf of the community to sister nation Haiti after a fuel tanker exploded in its second-largest city, killing scores and injuring many more.
The explosion happened last night in the port city Cap-Haïtien, located some 124 miles north of Port-au-Prince. Reports are that the fuel truck was involved in an accident and people were trying to acquire the leaking fuel when it ignited.
Speaking at the CARICOM end-of-year media briefing Barnett said that she had to address the tragedy in Haiti before the day’s events could begin.
“I want to express on behalf of the community my profound sorrow at the loss of life as a result of the explosion of a gas tanker in Haiti’s second city…” Barnett said. “My understanding is that the Prime Minister has already issued a declaration of national mourning so we’re going to be following this very sad situation in Haiti very closely.”
The BBC reports that medical personnel are concerned that they lack the capacity to save everyone injured by the explosion, given the sheer magnitude of patients in need of urgent care.
Twenty houses in the area were also reportedly set on fire as a result of the explosion. The United Nations office in Haiti has reportedly deployed personnel to assist local authorities with disaster response.