At least 60 killed in fuel truck explosion in Haiti

Richard Pierrin / AFP

Haitian authorities on Tuesday searched for victims of a fuel truck explosion in the city of Cap-Haitien that killed at least 60 people, amid reports that nearby residents had attempted to take fuel from the vehicle before it exploded.

Hundreds of people on Tuesday remained at the scene of Monday night's blast, including shocked neighbors looking for loved ones amid destroyed houses, as well as people attempting to dismantle the charred remains of the truck for scrap metal.

"I am very concerned about the number of people who died," said 64-year-old Justorme Louis Fils, who lives near the scene of the explosion. "I can identify some of the houses of people I know, but I can't identify them among the victims."

The truck had flipped over as it was seeking to avoid running over a motorcycle, he said.

Haitian newspaper Le Nouvelliste quoted Patrick Almonor of the Cap-Haitien municipal commission as saying, "Local residents were flocking to the truck when the explosion occurred."

Severe fuel shortages in recent months have left many Haitians desperate to ensure supplies of gasoline.

Earlier, rescue workers loaded bodies covered in white sheets onto trucks to be taken away. The blast damaged nearby houses and shops and destroyed motorbikes and cars.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry visited the Justinien University Hospital, where most of the victims are being treated.

"We are sad that so many people got hurt and so many people died," Henry said at a news conference.

Health ministry official Laure Adrien said four people had died in the hospital from their injuries and that 15 people were transferred to other facilities. The full death toll is not yet known, he said.

A coalition of gangs blockaded fuel terminals for nearly a month starting in October, leading to widespread shortages of gasoline and diesel that forced many businesses to close.

The gangs last month lifted the blockade, but many Haitians say they still struggle to find fuel. The government last week announced a fuel price hike due to the expense of existing subsidies.

Gangs have grown more powerful since the July assassination of President Jovenel Moise, which created a political vacuum and allowed criminal groups to expand their territory.

Haiti also suffered a devastating earthquake in August that killed more than 2,000 people and destroyed homes in the country's southern peninsula.

More from International

  • German police shoot axe-wielding man at Euro 2024 parade

    German police fired shots at a person who threatened officers with a pickaxe and an incendiary device on the sidelines of a Euro 2024 fan parade in central Hamburg, according to a police post on social media platform X.

  • Hamas Gaza ceasefire proposal reply 'consistent' with US plan

    Hamas' response to the latest Gaza ceasefire proposal is consistent with the principles put forward in US President Joe Biden's plan, the group's Qatar-based leader Ismail Haniyeh said in a televised speech on the occasion of the Islamic Eid al-Adha.

  • Israel announces tactical pause to allow Gaza aid

    The Israeli military said it would hold daily tactical pauses in military activity in parts of southern Gaza to allow more aid to flow into the enclave, where international aid organisations have warned of a growing humanitarian crisis.

  • US VP Harris announces $1.5 billion Ukraine aid

    US Vice President Kamala Harris pledged America's unwavering support for Ukraine and announced more than $1.5 billion (AED 5.5 billion) in aid for the country's energy sector and its humanitarian situation as a result of Russia's 27-month invasion.

  • Ukraine summit strives for consensus to lean on Russia to end conflict

    Western powers and countries from the rest of the world will use the second day of a major summit in Switzerland to pursue a consensus on condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine and underscoring concerns about the conflict's human cost.

Coming Up on Dubai Eye

  • The Business Breakfast

    6:00am - 10:00am

    The Business Breakfast is the day’s must listen for the UAE’s business leaders, and those who aspire to be.

  • The Agenda

    10:00am - 1:00pm

    Broadcasting every weekday, Georgia Tolley goes beyond the headlines to speak to government ministers, decision makers, analysts and local experts to find out how the news will impact those of us living in the UAE.


On Dubai Eye

  • Flying Taxis

    It sounds like an episode of The Jetsons, but the sight of flying taxis whizzing around our cities could be much closer than you think.

  • Tough penalties for deliberate tax evasion

    The UAE has said that tougher penalties will come into force from 1st August for not keeping proper corporate tax records.