By Monday morning, the county coroner’s office had run out of space, Sinneh Kamara, a coroner technician at Connaught Hospital in Freetown, told a local television station.
The director of the Office of National Security, Francis Langumba Keili,said the exact death toll was unknown,and the count was expected to rise. He said emergency workers were trying to rescue survivors as more bodies were turning up.
“Our efforts is to look for more survivors, but so far all we see is dead bodies,” Mr. Keili said.
On Monday, residents of the Kaningo neighborhood on the west side of Freetown were going about the gruesome task of collecting the dead even as floodwaters had yet to recede — one body was retrieved from up a tree. The neighborhood was among the hardest hit by rampaging floodwaters, which washed away a bridge and left homes caked in mud and debris. Boxes, plastic containers and furniture were scattered among the homes in the neighborhood, and residents’ belongings were stuck in tree branches and on rooftops.
“They have retrieved over 50 bodies so far,” said Mr. Barrie, who added that many people were also seriously injured. Other residents had complained that there were not enough ambulances to transport the injured.
In another neighborhood of the capital, Regent, the rain caused a massive mudslide that killed seven members of the same family, including children, when the two-story building in which they lived collapsed. Three people trapped in another building in Regent had been calling for help all morning, but the house was still inaccessible as of Monday night because of mud from a slide that reportedly wiped out half the land in the neighborhood.