Pope Prays for Explosion Victims in Haiti

Island Nation Copes With Latest Tragedy

Explosion Victims in Haiti
Pope Praying - Copyright: Vatican Media

Pope Francis today prayed for the explosion victims in Haiti.

“In the past few hours, there has been a devastating explosion in Cap-Haïtien, northern Haiti, in which many people, including many children, have lost their lives,” the Holy Father said after presenting his catechesis on Saint Joeseph during his General Audience. “Poor Haiti, one thing after another; they are a people who suffer.

“Let us pray, let us pray for Haiti, they are good people, religious people, but they are suffering so much. I am close to the inhabitants of that city and the families of the victims, as well as the injured. I invite you to join me in praying for these brothers and sisters of ours, who are so sorely tried.”

Haitian authorities said that the explosion occurred after a fuel tanker overturned and exploded late on Monday in the Caribbean nation’s second-largest city, Cap-Haitien. Local media said the tanker driver was trying to avoid hitting a motorcycle.

Several sources put the death toll at above 60 persons, but the number is expected to rise as local authorities say that rescue operations are still underway. Many of the wounded have been taken to nearby hospitals, which are already overwhelmed.

The explosion also caused extensive damage to the city, impacting dozens of houses in the vicinity of the blast

The Haitian government has declared three days of national mourning in memory of the victims of the deadly explosion.

Haiti has suffered a series of natural and manmade disasters in the past year.

On the second Sunday of Easter, while the universal Church celebrated Divine Mercy, the Catholic Church of Haiti, in particular the Society of Priests of Saint Jacques and the Archdiocese of Cap Haitien, lamented the kidnapping of 5 of their priests, two nuns and 3 relatives of Father Jean Arnel Joseph. The kidnapping took place on Sunday, April 11, in the town of Croix-des-Bouquets, near the capital Port-au-Prince. Father Stevenson Montinard, a priest of Saint Jacques, confirmed the news to Fides source and asked for prayers for the release of Fathers: Michel Briand (of French nationality), Jean Nicaisse Milien, Joël Thomas, Evens Joseph, and Jean-Hugues Baptiste ( priest of the Archdiocese of Cape Haitian, medical student) and Sister Agnès Bordeau, of the Congregation of Providence of Pommeraye, of French nationality, and of Sister Anne Marie Dorcelus, of the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Child Jesus.

Haiti’s interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph, Jovenel Moïse was assassinated in an attack early on July 7, 2021, on his private residence, in which the First Lady also suffered a bullet wound. According to Europa Press Agency, hours later it was known that the Haitian President suffered 12 shots in different parts of his body, which was taken to a mortuary, accompanied by his daughter, Jomarly Moïse, who escaped the shooting.

On August 14, Haiti was struck by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. More than 300 people were killed and more than 1800 injured, according to the Haitian government, which declared a state of emergency.