March, 9th 2021 – The death toll from a series of explosions at military barracks in Equatorial Guinea rose to 98 on Monday after volunteers searched in the rubble for bodies.
At least 615 people were injured in Sunday’s blasts which were caused by a fire at the Nkoantoma Military Base in the coastal city of Bata.
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema has attributed the accident to negligence related to the handling of dynamite and said the explosions damaged almost all homes and buildings in Bata, a city of just over 250,000 people.
He said, “The city of Bata has been the victim of negligence by the team in charge of guarding stores of dynamite, explosives and munitions.”
He added that the government will hold an emergency meeting to look into how victims can receive aid from Equatorial Guinea before international aid arrives.
In a statement, Nguema said that the investigations into the explosion has already began adding that investigations show that the fire may have begun after a farmer set fire to his plot to prepare it for food production and a breeze spread the flames to the nearby barracks where the high-caliber ammunition was stored.
Equatorial Guinea is an oil-rich West African country and home to 1.3 million people. It is located south of Cameroon which was a colony of Spain until it gained its independence in 1968. Bata has roughly 175,000 inhabitants.