(CMR) Tragedy continues to hit Haiti, with at least 77 people reported dead following a gasoline tanker explosion in Haiti’s second-largest city Cap-Haitien on Monday, 13 December. The fuel tanker reportedly exploded after it had stopped due to mechanical issues and began leaking gas. With the country experiencing a fuel shortage, people gathered to collect fuel directly from the truck before it exploded.
The death toll continued to mount on Wednesday with the possibility that the death toll could further increase, Henri Petit, who heads the Office of Civil Protection for the North region, said.
The gas explosion is the latest catastrophe to hit Haiti, which since the 7 July assassination of its president, Jovenel Moïse, has had several crises. Five weeks after the president’s still unsolved murder, the southern peninsula was hit by a deadly 7.2 magnitude earthquake, killing at least 2,248 people injuring 12,763.
Thousands remain homeless after they were displaced from their homes by warring gangs. Gangs have also reportedly aggravated the ongoing fuel crisis by blocking tanker access to the two ports in the capital where deliveries are made.
There has also been an increase in for-ransom kidnappings. In October, 17 missionaries from a U.S.-based religious charity, Christian Aid Ministries, were kidnapped. Two months later, 12 remain in captivity after five were released by their captors, a violent Haitian gang named 400 Mawozo.