Series of explosions hits military barracks in Equatorial Guinea
At least 20 people were killed and hundreds injured after four accidental explosions ripped through a military camp in Equatorial Guinea and obliterated neighbouring residential areas.
Footage broadcast by the TVGE channel showed buildings burned and flattened in a wide radius around the Nkoa Ntoma camp in the economic capital Bata, with a thick plume of black smoke rising into the sky.
Children and adults were seen being pulled from the rubble. There were chaotic scenes at the hospital in Bata, with the wounded lying on the floor awaiting treatment.
The health ministry tweeted that its health workers are treating the injured at the site of the tragedy and in medical facilities, but feared people were still missing under the rubble.
Hasta ahora se desconoce el número total de fallecidos pero se estima que hay alrededor de 300 heridos.
⚠️Pedimos la contribución de donantes de sangre.
⚠️El personal sanitario voluntario que quiera ayudar que se persone al Hospital Regional de Bata. pic.twitter.com/ZycOH7w9dJ
— Guinea Salud (@GuineaSalud) March 7, 2021
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema said the accident had occurred after local farmers allowed a fire in the area to burn out of control, setting alight explosives that had been badly stored by soldiers at the military camp.
“The city of Bata has been the victim of an accident caused by the negligence of the unit in charge of storing explosives, dynamite and ammunition at the Nkoa Ntoma military camp,” Obiang Nguema said in a statement.
“These caught fire due to stubble-burning by farmers in their fields which ultimately made these depots explode in succession.”
The defence ministry put the death toll at at least 20, with some 600 people injured.
The “high calibre” explosives set off by the fire caused “shockwaves” which razed many houses to the ground, the ministry added…..read more