President Julius Maada, his Vice President, Ministers, Political Parties, relatives and mourners have pay their last and final respect to the over 100 fire victims that died last Friday after a fuel tanker with loaded petro got exploded within the Wellington, Old Wharf resident.
The occasion was a somber one as hundreds of Sierra Leoneans throng the cemetery for the civic ad dignified burial for our compatriots.
His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio joined hundreds of relatives and mourners to give a befitting and dignified burial to Sierra Leoneans who lost their lives in the tragic fire disaster of Friday 5 November at PMB Junction, Wellington.
Sheik Ibrahim Barrie and Bishop Arnold Temple, who led the ceremony in prayers at the burial site, noted that the deceased, RIP, were a great loss to the nation, adding that “although everyone born into this world must face the bitterness of death”, the country must pray for the souls of the deceased and for the healing of survivors in hospitals.
In his statement, President Bio said: “To those here who have lost their direct relations and to all mourners here and fellow citizens, this is a very sad event. We are here to pay respect to our brothers and sisters who lost their lives in a very tragic event. As the pastor said, death is inevitable. But it doesn’t have to be too sudden. It doesn’t have to be too gruesome”.
He added that the sad event was a huge loss to the families as it was also to the nation. He prayed that God would have mercy on the souls of the departed. The President emphasised that much as it was good that they had given a dignified burial to the dead, it was also better that they looked after those in the hospitals and prayed for them.
“We implore the medical team to give the injured enough comfort so that we don’t lose more people. As a country, we should always be united, especially in times of grief. This is not the time to blame people. This is a moment of reflection. I have said that we will investigate the disaster but also agree as a society what do we do to avert similar tragedies.
“What happened is preventable in a rule-based society. There should be law and order. We make laws to avoid catastrophes like these. This is a sad and solemn farewell event. Let me also use the occasion to thank all those who have helped with the situation and to announce that we have received support from WHO to effectively look after those in excruciating pains resulting from the burns,” he said.
Earlier, the Ministry of Social Welfare and National Disaster Management Agency worked very closely with the affected families to facilitate the burial ceremony. The government had arranged for buses to transport people from Wellington to the cemetery and back.