Multiple explosions in Equatorial Guinea have claimed the lives of at least 98 people while about 600 have been wounded.
The dreaded explosions were caused by what is said to be the negligence of a military unit in charge of storing explosives, dynamite, and ammunition at the Nkoa Ntoma military camp and the blasts were said to have taken place in the afternoon on 7 March 2021, in the neighbourhood of Mondong Nkuantoma in Bata.
FIRE IN WEAPONS DEPOT SAID TO HAVE CAUSED THE BLAST
Addressing the nation in an official statement, President Teodoro Obiang, said the impact had damaged almost all the buildings in the country’s main city. The defence ministry released a statement after the incident saying that a fire in a weapons depot in the barracks caused the blasts.
The explosions have also forced citizens to relocate to the city because they had been warned of the toxic fumes from the explosion.
The state television detailed dead bodies being pulled from the rubble, some were also seen wrapped in sheets. Local television showed a blanket of smoke, buildings exploding, many people screaming whilst running in different directions.
A local resident told AFP news Agency by telephone that the citizens started hearing explosions without knowing what was happening. He further detailed that the hospitals in Equatorial Guinea are looking for blood donors for those that were injured.
He explained that the explosion hit the country hard and that it would be a setback for every developmental sector that was already dealing with the effects of the global pandemic.
The PRESIDENT’S SON INSPECTS THE SCENE IN EQUATORIAL GUINEA
According to AFP, the president’s son and Vice President, Teodoro Mangue, was seen in television footage inspecting the damage at the scene with his Israeli body guards.
The explosion is also related to the political situation in Equatorial Guinea. President Teodoro Obiang, 78, who has ruled the country since 1979 is alleged to have been grooming his son to be his successor.
Opposition parties and international organisations have repeatedly accused Obiang of committing human rights abuses. The authoritarian leader has witnessed at least half-a-dozen assassination or coup attempts.