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Cameroon: Medical assistance for burn victims

18-02-1998 News Release 98/07

After a train carrying petroleum collided with another and later exploded in a densely populated district of Yaoundé last Saturday, initial estimates put the number of dead at 120. At least 150 more people were critically injured with severe burns. The explosion occurred four hours after the collision, and in the meantime a large crowd had gathered to try to scoop up petrol spilling from the damaged tanks.

Volunteers of the Cameroon Red Cross Society arrived on the scene immediately and began taking the injured to hospital. The National Society also set up a bureau to coordinate work to identify the victims and inform their families. ICRC delegates provided the city's central hospital with medicines and medical supplies for the treatment of burns.

France has sent in medical material and staff to assist local doctors, and the ICRC will contribute 400 units of blood, enough for 200 patients.

Today, 18 February, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, in cooperation with the Cameroon Red Cross, is to initiate a food aid project and a programme of psychological support for survivors of the disaster and families of the victims.