WanaData Africa
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Fact Check - Does This Image Show a Tanker Explosion in Sierra Leone?

By Nyakerario Omari

On November 8, 2021, three days after a fuel tanker exploded in Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, this image was shared on a Facebook post indicating that tanker explosions have become recurring within Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Mali and now, Sierra Leone. Piga Firimbi looks into this to establish where and when this image was taken and under what circumstances.


On November 5, 2021, at least 115 people were killed and close to 100 injured after a tanker exploded in Sierra Leone. Many of those who died from this explosion were burnt beyond recognition. A mass burial was held in the country’s capital as a three-day national mourning followed in their honor.


Reverse Image searches reveal that this image surfaced on the internet during an explosion in Otedola Bridge, in Lagos, Nigeria. This explosion said to have happened on June 28, 2018, resulted in the death of 12 people and seven others with different degrees of burns by July 2, 2018.

Another search result also shows this image was taken during the same explosion on Otedola bridge, along Lagos-Ibadan expressway. According to the Reuters report, the oil tanker caught fire on a motorway that connects Lagos and Ibadan.


The Facebook post appearing to show that this image is from a recent fuel tanker explosion in Sierra Leone is MISLEADING.

This story was produced by Africa Uncensored in partnership with Code for Africa with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie.




WanaData is a Pan-African network of female journalists, data scientists and techies working on changing the digital media landscape by producing and promoting data-driven news while applying digital technologies in their storytelling.

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