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Dead Rise To 74 In Gas Explosion

Reports say the death toll in the gas tanker explosion in Totota, Bong County, Central Liberia, has now risen to 74.
According to health authorities, a total 152 cases, including two women, are now being identified from the gas explosion.
The Ministry of Health’s situation report on the incident states that the total of 74 deaths include 32 deaths from the gas explosion scene, including a pregnant woman, and are being identified.
An additional 37 are also being recorded at various hospitals across the country, totaling at least two deaths of females.
Health authorities say a total of 61 persons between the ages of 10-57 years are now being admitted and managed at six health facilities, to include 12 patients at the JFK Hospital, Six at the ELWA Hospital, five at the Catholic Hospital, eight at the 14 Military Hospital, two at the Latter-Day Saints, and 28 at the Phebe Hospital in Bong County.
A total of 14 cases of first-degree burns are now being managed at home in Totota, Bong County, while active cases search and investigations are ongoing in the affected communities.
The Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Administration at John F. Kennedy Medical Center, Dama Yekeson Koffa, disclosed that JFK currently has 9 out of 29 patients with a variety of different degrees of burns. The remaining 20 have died.
She said many of the remaining patients have burns from the top of their heads to the bottom of their feet. “Infection is the biggest problem of the patients because they do not have the barrier of the skin any longer,” Koffa said.
“All of the facilities attending to the victims are in dire need of medical supplies,” Koffa said, referring to Phebe, ELWA, 14 Military, and Catholic Hospitals. “The need for fluids to help resuscitate patients at JFK cannot be overemphasized.”
“The facility also needs saline solution as much,” she said, adding that many of the patients have had the upper layer of their skin damaged, with fluids in their veins dried up. She mentioned that each patient needs to have gauze changed two to three times daily, with one roll costing US$40.
Koffa noted that JFK also needs antibiotics, adult diapers, and other supplies “now, tomorrow, and in the coming week.”
She feared that patients would continue to die if supplies were not provided as quickly as possible, stating, “It is unfortunate to state that the facility is losing the patients with the limited medical supplies available.”

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