Hundreds injured and many feared dead as huge explosions rip through city in Equatorial Guinea

Hundreds are injured and many feared dead after a series of large explosions rocked the city of Bata in Equatorial Guinea on Sunday. 

The country’s health ministry said the total number of deaths were unknown but estimated that around 300 people had been injured in the blasts, and said ‘many’ were feared dead or trapped under rubble.

In a series of tweets on Sunday, the ministry appealed for blood donations and for voluntary health workers to go to the Bata Regional Hospital.

The cause of the blasts is unknown but the health ministry said the explosions had happened at a military base in the city’s Mondong Nkuantoma de Bata neighbourhood.

Hundreds are injured and many feared dead after a series of large explosions rocked the city of Bata in Equatorial Guinea on Sunday

Hundreds are injured and many feared dead after a series of large explosions rocked the city of Bata in Equatorial Guinea on Sunday

Hundreds are injured and many feared dead after a series of large explosions rocked the city of Bata in Equatorial Guinea on Sunday

The cause of the blasts is unknown but the health ministry said the explosions had happened at a military base in the city's Mondong Nkuantoma de Bata neighbourhood

The cause of the blasts is unknown but the health ministry said the explosions had happened at a military base in the city's Mondong Nkuantoma de Bata neighbourhood

The cause of the blasts is unknown but the health ministry said the explosions had happened at a military base in the city’s Mondong Nkuantoma de Bata neighbourhood

Local television showed groups of people pulling bodies from under piles of rubble. Some of the bodies were carried away wrapped in bed sheets. 

Hospitals in the central African nation are reportedly overwhelmed, with local media footage showing pick-up trucks filled with survivors, many of whom were children, drive up to the front of a local hospital where some victims were seen lying on the floor.  

In the blast area, iron roofs were ripped off half-destroyed houses and lay twisted amid the rubble, Reuters news agency reported. Only a wall or two remained of most residences. People ran in all directions, many of them screaming.

A column of smoke reached into the sky and around its base firefighters sought to calm the blaze. 

Unverified videos shared on Twitter and claiming to have been filmed from near the blast site showed plumes of smoke rising into the sky and debris from buildings littering the roadside.

In one clip, people could be heard screaming as the camera panned between roofless buildings. 

‘Following developments in Equatorial Guinea with concern after the explosions in the city of Bata,’ said Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya on Twitter.

The Spanish Embassy in Malabo encouraged its nationals to stay in their homes.

The blast comes as Equatorial Guinea, an oil producer, is suffering a double economic shock linked to the coronavirus pandemic and a drop in the price of crude, which provides around three-quarters of state revenue. 

Link hienalouca.com

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