LIBERIA: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa extends Condolences to Liberia
In the wake of a tragic gas tanker explosion in Totota, Lower Bong County, Liberia, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has conveyed heartfelt condolences to the Government and people of Liberia. The incident, which occurred on Tuesday, December 26, claimed the lives of over 50 individuals and left more than 80 seriously injured.
President Ramaphosa expressed solidarity with Liberia and emphasized that the thoughts and prayers of South Africa are with the affected families during this period of mourning. The President underscored the historical, political, diplomatic, economic, and people-to-people relations that bind South Africa and Liberia, pointing to the two nations’ shared commitment to fostering growth and development.
South Africa and Liberia have a longstanding partnership, marked by robust economic and trade relations. The formal establishment of diplomatic ties in 1997 has facilitated collaboration on various fronts. President Ramaphosa lauded Liberia’s recent peaceful and transparent elections in November 2023, viewing it as a significant stride toward advancing democracy and development not only within Liberia but across the African continent.
Meanwhile, in Totota, Lower Bong County, a mass burial ceremony took place for the more than 40 victims who lost their lives in the fuel tanker explosion. The incident unfolded as the tanker, involved in an accident, veered off the road and toppled, causing a leakage that resulted in a devastating fire. Many of the victims were burnt beyond recognition, with onlookers attempting to siphon fuel from the leaking tanker before the catastrophic explosion occurred.
Health authorities in Liberia have issued an urgent appeal for medical supplies to address the needs of the more than 83 burn victims currently receiving treatment in hospitals. The death toll, previously reported at 40, has risen to 42, according to a confirmation from a health ministry official.
As Liberia grapples with the aftermath of this tragic event, the international community, including South Africa, stands united in offering support and solidarity during this challenging time.