A series of explosions at a military barrack in Equatorial Guinea killed at least 20 people and injured hundreds more, state television reported.
TGVE read out a statement from President Teodoro Obiang Nguema saying that the explosion was due to “careless handling of dynamite” in the military barracks near Mondong Nkuantoma in Bata. He said the explosion occurred at 4 p.m. local time. The president said the impact of the explosion affected buildings across the city.
TVGE said at least five explosions caused at least 20 deaths and injured more than 400 others.
State television showed a huge cloud of smoke rising over the blast site as the crowds fled, with many shouting “we do not know what happened, but everything is destroyed.”
The Ministry of Health tweeted that its health workers are treating the injured at the scene of the tragedy and in medical facilities, but feared that people were still missing under the walls.
It is now known that the total number of deaths per person is estimated to be around 300 herid. P️Pedimos the contribution of blood donors.⚠️The voluntary sanitary staff who want to help people at the Bata Regional Hospital. pic.twitter.com/ZycOH7w9dJ
– Guinea Salud (@GuineaSalud) March 7, 2021
Pictures on local media seen by The Associated Press show people screaming and crying running through the streets amid rubbish and smoke. Roofs of houses were torn off and injured people were taken to a hospital.
The blasts were a shock to the oil-rich Central African nation. A doctor who called TVGE, who went by his first name, Florentino, said that the situation was a “moment of crisis” and that the hospitals were overcrowded. He said a sports center set up for COVID-19 patients would be used to receive smaller cases.
Radio station, Radio Macuto, said on Twitter that people were evacuated within four kilometers of the city because the vapors could be harmful.
Following the explosion, the Spanish Embassy in Equatorial Guinea recommended on Twitter that “Spanish citizens stay in their homes.”
In the wake of the high-profile explosions in the city of Bata, it is recommended to Spanish nationals who are permanently in their homes. pic.twitter.com/HKU3MhGZQf
– Emb. España Malabo (@EmbEspMalabo) March 7, 2021