Huge explosions rock Equatorial Guinea’s main city

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https://www.bbc.com-At least 15 people have died and hundreds more have been injured in a series of explosions in Equatorial Guinea, the health ministry says.

Some 500 people were injured following the blasts, which happened near a military barracks in the main city of Bata on Sunday.

The blasts were caused by “negligence” relating to the storage of dynamite at the barracks, the president said.

State television showed people looking for survivors in the rubble and lifting up debris from collapsed buildings.

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema said in a statement that the impact of the explosion “caused damage in almost all the houses and buildings in Bata”, and called for international help with aid.

He added that the incident may have occurred following the burning of fields surrounding the barracks by farmers.

In a series of tweets, the health ministry asked for volunteer health workers to go to Bata Regional Hospital. It has also asked for blood donations due to the high number of casualties.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

It listed three hospitals where the “seriously and very seriously injured” were being transferred.

Some local hospitals have been overwhelmed by the number of patients admitted, TVGE reported. It broadcast images of wounded people lying on the floor of a crowded hospital.

Video posted on social media of the aftermath of the explosions showed a chaotic scene of distressed people fleeing as smoke drifted over the area.

“We hear the explosion and we see the smoke, but we don’t know what’s going on,” one local resident told AFP news agency.

In a tweet, France’s ambassador Olivier Brochenin sent his condolences to the victims, describing the event as a “catastrophe”.

Mi más sentido pésame por la catástrofe que acaba de producirse en Bata. Mis pensamientos están con todas las víctimas. Solidaridad. @AngueSimeon @MCooperacion pic.twitter.com/01dx7518i2

— Brochenin Olivier (@O_Brochenin) March 7, 2021

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

The Spanish embassy has said its country’s citizens should remain at home and issued a series of emergency numbers.

Equatorial Guinea was a Spanish colony until independence in 1968.

 

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