Four explosions have rocked a military base in Bata, Equatorial Guinea, killing at least 15 people. Videos show the devastation, and civilians fleeing, as local media report hospitals are overwhelmed with hundreds of injured.
The explosions shook Bata on Sunday evening, and, according to local media, all occurred within the military base located in the port city. Disturbing video footage shows smoke rising from the blast site and women crying, as some of those injured are seen being helped away from the scene. Dust and debris fills the sky and litters roads.
In a statement on national television, President Teodoro Obiang blamed the explosions on the negligent use of dynamite at the base.
Guinée Équatoriale : Une série d’explosions sème le chaos à Bata.L’AFP annonce que des explosions ont frappé un camp militaire, faisant des blessés. pic.twitter.com/Vsrp949DeG
— Rebecca Rambar (@RebeccaRambar) March 7, 2021
At least 15 people were killed and some 500 injured in the blast, Obiang said. Meanwhile, local television station TVGE has reported at least 20 victims, as local hospitals are overwhelmed by the influx of injured people.
🇬🇶GUINEA ECUATORIAL 🚨#URGENTE🚨: Emergencia en #Bata. Personal médico y los bomberos están desplegados en el lugar atendiendo y trasladando a los heridos graves y muy graves a los hospitales de la Paz, Nuevo Inseso y el Hospital Regional de Bata. pic.twitter.com/u9zMv5e8Tz
— Rochex R. Robinson Bonilla (@RochexRB27) March 7, 2021
Equatorial Guinea was a Spanish colony until 1968. Its oil industry has made it the richest country by gross national income in Sub-Saharan Africa, but its wealth inequality is among the highest in the region. The nation has recently been struggling with both the spread of Covid-19, and the global fall in crude oil prices, on which the state relies for the majority of its revenue.
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