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'I am in pain': Relatives of Sierra Leone fire victims demand answers

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Seima Camara/Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's president visited the site of a deadly fuel blast in the capital Freetown Sunday, in which nearly 100 people were killed.

Julius Maada Bio promised to assist the bereaved families.

"Blame or no blame, for now let us take care of the wounded, we are going to take care of the ones that lost their lives and as a community let us come together and learn from this," said President Julius Maada Bio. 

The fire started after an explosion in the Wellington area of Freetown. 

Fatmata Bangura lost two of her sisters. The flames incinerated people in their cars as wells on nearby roads.

"I am in pain as I speak, it's only God that can console me. We're suffering, my sister fell victim as a result of the hardship we're facing. She went in search for her child who had left earlier to hawk and also got trapped in the fire," she said. 

Africanews Sierra Leone correspondent said the incident had left people devastated. He said recovery work was underway on Sunday. 

The head of the country's told Africanews that the death toll which stood at 99 on Sunday was expected to grow. 

"After the inferno, when we were able to put the fire under control, we have 92 people injured, 48 admitted at the Connaught hospital right now, 6 at the Choithram Hospital, 20 at the 34 Military Hospital and 18 at the Emergency hospital, totaling 92; but the numbers keep rising as we get hourly briefs from the Hospitals," Lieutenant General Brima Sesay, the Director-General of the National Disaster Management Agency.

Angry residents have accused the authorities of taking long to put out the fire. The World Health Organization (WHO) said Saturday it was sending supplies to the country.

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