Powerful explosions hit Equatorial Guinea’s main city, Bata | Equatorial Guinea news
The cause of the explosions and the number of injuries were not immediately elucidated; local television shows groups of people pulling bodies over piles of rubble.
Several large explosions at a military base rocked Equatorial Guinea’s largest city, Bata, according to local media.
The cause of Sunday’s explosions or the number of injuries was not immediately clear. Initial reports suggest they may have come from the armory, according to a TVGE reporter.
“We hear the explosion and we see the smoke, but we don’t know what’s going on,” a local resident named Teodoro Nguema told AFP news agency by telephone.
Local television showed groups of people tearing bodies from piles of rubble, some of which were swept away wrapped in sheets. The media have also called for people to donate blood, saying hospitals are overwhelmed.
Vans filled with survivors, many of whom were children, drove past a local hospital where victims were filmed lying on the ground.
In the area of the blast, iron roofs were torn from half-destroyed houses and twisted amid the rubble. Most houses only had a wall or two left. People were running in all directions, many were screaming.
Equatorial Guinea has been ruled by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, 78, for almost 42 years.
His son, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, vice president in charge of defense and security, appeared in television footage at the scene inspecting the damage, accompanied by his Israeli bodyguards, according to AFP.
Teodorin, as he is called, is increasingly seen as the president’s designated successor.
Following the explosions that occurred today in the city of Bata, it is recommended that Spanish nationals stay at home. pic.twitter.com/HKU3MhGZQf
– Emb. Spain Malabo (@EmbEspMalabo) March 7, 2021
Translation: Following the explosions that occurred today in the city of Bata, Spanish nationals are recommended to stay at home, the embassy said.
After the explosion, the Spanish Embassy in the capital, Malabo, asked its nationals to stay at home. “Following the developments in Equatorial Guinea with concern after the explosions in the city of Bata,” Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said on Twitter.
In addition, the Ambassador of France in Equatorial Guinea, Brochenin Olivier, expressed his “condolences for the catastrophe which has just occurred in Bata”.
Bata is home to around 800,000 of the 1.4 million people living in the oil and gas-rich country, most of whom live in poverty. While Bata sits on the mainland, Malabo sits on Bioko, one of the country’s islands off the West African coast.