A series of explosions attributed to negligence was heard coming from a military barracks in Equatorial Guinea on Sunday. The explosion is said to have come from poor handling of dynamites and has wounded more than 600 people and killed at least 20 people.
The blast was reported to have occurred on Sunday, and the county’s president released a televised statement that confirmed the events occurred due to negligence handling of dynamite. The explosion was heard at around 4 p.m. local time at the military barracks located in the neighborhood of Mondong Nkuantoma in Bata.
President Teodora Obiang Nguema said that the impact of the explosion caused damage to all nearby houses and buildings in Bata.
In a statement released late last night, the defense ministry said the explosion was caused by a fire in a weapons depot located within the barracks. In addition to 20 fatalities, 600 people have been injured up to this point. A full investigation on the cause of the explosions is underway.
Health Ministry officials had earlier claimed 17 dead, while the president’s statement mentioned 15 dead. But in no time, we will have the exact number of casualties resulting from the blast.
In the southeast of Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea is a small country made up of 1.3 million people and was a Spanish colony until it gained its independence in 1968.
TV images showed an enormous plume of smoke rising above the explosion site as thousands fled, some screaming that they didn’t know what happened and destroyed everything around. Many people have been left displaced by the wreckage from the blast.
A ministry tweet said that workers are treating injured victims of the tragedy and at the medical centers but feared people remain trapped underneath the rubble.
Associated Press video shows people running and screaming through the streets amid debris and smoke in images seen on local media. People who were injured in the attack were taken into a hospital while roofs of houses were ripped off.
It was a shock for the oil-rich Central African nation that was struck by the blasts. The Foreign Minister Simeón Oyono Esono Angue met with ambassadors from abroad and asked for assistance.
Angue said that it was important for the country to ask for help from their brother countries following this lamentable situation. He also added that they are also dealing with all the health emergencies caused by the COVID-19 and now the recent tragedy in Bata.
An emergency caller from TVGE identified himself as Dr. Florentino said the hospitals were at capacity. He explained that a sports center set up for COVID-19 patients would be used for minor cases for the blast victims.
Radio Macuto tweeted that people were being evacuated within 2 1/2 miles of the city because the fumes may be dangerous.
Spain’s Embassy in Equatorial Guinea said on Twitter that it encouraged Spaniards to stay in their homes following the blast.
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