The death toll following multiple blasts at a military barracks in Equatorial Guinea has risen sharply to 98, the country’s health ministry said, as the search for victims continues. Over 600 people were injured in the incident.
At least four explosions were reported to have struck a military base in the port city of Bata on Sunday, with images from the scene depicting a rubble-strewn landscape of levelled buildings.
Guinée Équatoriale : De multiples explosions majeures ont secoué la capitale Bata. Les images montrent des dégâts étendus. Les services d’électricité et Internet seraient coupés (l’étendue n’est pas précisée). pic.twitter.com/5iyfwRIBh9
— Rebecca Rambar (@RebeccaRambar) March 7, 2021
In an update posted via Twitter on Monday, the country’s health ministry cited Vice-President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue as saying that 98 people had been killed. The ministry also said it had prepared a response team including psychiatrists and psychologists to help victims of the blast cope with the trauma of the incident.
“The damages are not only physical but also mental,” it noted.
⚠️Datos de la emergencia sanitaria en Bata:🔵 615 heridos:- 316 dados de alta- 299 permanecen ingresados en Hospital Regional de Bata, Centro Médico la Paz y Policlínico Guinea Salud🔵Cifra oficial de fallecidos:- 98 fallecidos reportados hasta ahoraFuente: @La_Vice_Presspic.twitter.com/03ADU4peOH
— Guinea Salud (@GuineaSalud) March 8, 2021
Addressing the nation in the wake of the incident, President Teodoro Obiang said that the negligent use of dynamite at the site had caused the devastation.
The Ministry for National Defence said in a statement on Sunday that a number of homes near the base had been destroyed by the shock waves of the blasts, and it urged people living nearby to evacuate for the night in case of further explosions.
It also said that an investigation had already been launched “to determine the causes of this tragic and lamentable event.”
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