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Fuel Tanker Explodes in Haiti, Killing Dozens


Dozens of people were killed and scores more were wounded before dawn on Tuesday when a tanker truck exploded in northern Haiti, according to government officials.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry, writing on Twitter, said around 40 people were killed in the city of Cap-Haïtien and many more were injured when a truck transporting gasoline exploded.

No further details were immediately available. The Haitian newspaper Le Nouvelliste reported that hospitals were overwhelmed as dozens of people sought treatment.

Basic services, long in a state of disrepair, have been battered even more as Haiti has been rocked by cascading tragedies.

Since July, when President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated, the Caribbean island nation has suffered a devastating earthquake and flash floods, disasters that left over 2,000 dead and many more injured and displaced.

The natural disasters have been compounded by poverty, hunger and increasing violence.

In recent months, a severe fuel shortage pushed the nation even deeper into collapse as gangs, not the government, took control over large areas of the country.

Many people and businesses in Haiti depend on generators for power. Gangs have taken advantage of the need for fuel, hijacking gas trucks at will. Many truck drivers refused to work in October, a nationwide strike that paralyzed the country.

Former Prime Minister Claude Joseph, who briefly took control of Haiti’s government immediately after the assassination, said that he was heartbroken by the news of the explosion.

“I share the pain and sorrow of all the people,” he wrote on Twitter.


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