The wreckage seemed like an aftermath of a terrorist attack. Debris flew here and there, pools of blood and human parts littered Free Street, a business centre at the commercial heart of Freetown, after an explosion that left 14 dead out of 32 causalities.
Yesterday few hours past mid-day ‘3 Z’, a used clothing store owned by a Fullah businessman at No 6 Free Street, exploded with velocity that sent occupants, traders and commuters outside the store tossing like chaffs in the wind.
An eyewitness, Samuel Smith, recounted that, “when I heard the first explosion I dashed and later started smelling a pungent odor which seems like gas,” adding that it was not long after that the other explosion occurred.
Mr Smith noted that, “the last explosion was the biggest, it uprooted the metal doors of the store and left several fatally injured.”
The deputy Chief Fire Officer, Ahmed Kamanda-Bongay, initially told Awoko that around17or18 people were reported dead.
Speaking on the cause of the explosion he said, “we are presuming that it must be a cooking gas that was left unattended and that might have caused the explosion.”
Mr Kamanda-Bongay maintained that though the destruction seemed massive “it’s possible that a cooking gas caused such havoc.”
He however noted that they were investigating the cause of the explosion.
Meanwhile, medical doctors at the main referral Connaught Hospital in the capital were yesterday working relentlessly to save some of the injured; those in critical conditions were transferred to the Emergency Hospital at Goderich in the west end of the city.
Connaught Hospital mortuary authorities confirmedat the time of going to press that 14 had been confirmed dead.
Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana went to the Connaught Hospital to see some of the victims.