About 200 Killed in Explosions in Republic of the Congo
Around 200 people have been killed and many more injured in a series of explosions in Brazzaville, the capital of Republic of the Congo, according to a senior official in the presidency, citing hospital sources.
“According to sources at the central hospital we’re talking of around 200 dead and many injured,” Betu Bangana, head of protocol in the president’s office in Brazzaville, told Reuters by telephone.
Panic spread to Kinshasa, across the Congo River which separates the oil-producing former French colony from the larger Democratic Republic of Congo, where windows were shattered by the force of the blasts.
Both governments called for calm and there was no immediate suspicion of anything but an accident. Congo is one of sub-Saharan Africa’s top oil producers.
“Lots of buildings have been destroyed … There are four dead and nearly 60 injured, some seriously,” Betu Bangana said.
Citing Defence Minister Charles Zacharie Bowao, state radio in Congo said the explosions had been caused by a fire in the arms depot in the Regiment Blinde base in the riverside Mpila neighbourhood.