Disasters & Accidents

31 killed, 500 wounded in Equatorial Guinea’s Bata blasts

Nairobi, Mar 8 (efe-epa).- At least 31 people were killed and other 500 were wounded in a series of explosions that hit a military base in Bata, Equatorial Guinea’s economic capital, the government announced on Monday.

“Bata’s health emergency data: official figure of 31 deaths,” the health ministry said on its Twitter account. The death toll is likely to increase as rescue teams continue to find more bodies.

Vice-minister of health Dámaso Mitoha Ondo’o had told Efe that health workers face the “overwhelming” task of helping the wounded after Sunday’s blasts.

“Over 500 people were treated, 221 out of which were eventually hospitalized (…) This figure is reducing because people are being discharged based on the different levels of care required,” he said.

The health ministry’s record only mirrors those attended at its hospitals, he added.

“Now work has begun in ground zero and that is up to the Civil Protection and security forces,” he said, commenting on reports of recovering more bodies.

Rescue missions resumed this morning amid the debris of the army’s rapid intervention base, which has been left in ruins, images broadcast by the state-run TVGE station on Monday showed.

The “negligence” of the unit in charge of the care and protection of dynamite and explosive deposits at the military barracks is to blame for the explosions, President Teodoro Obiang said last night.

Pending a final official death toll, this is the worst tragedy of its kind in the history of the Central African country of a little over 1.2 million inhabitants. EFE-EPA

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