Equatorial Guinea

Bata explosion: Equatorial Guinea blasts kill 31, injures 600

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A series of explosions on Sunday in Equatorial Guinea is now known to have killed 31 people, officials say. The number of those injured rose to 600.

The blasts hit a military base in the country’s main city, Bata. Officials blame badly stored dynamite along with stubble burning by nearby farmers.

Teams including volunteers continue to search the wreckage of buildings and homes for victims. There are fears the death toll could rise further as some victims may still be trapped.

In a statement, President Obiang Nguema said the blasts had been caused “by the negligence of a unit charged with the care and protection of stores of dynamite and explosives” at the Nkoantoma military base.

He said the base had “caught fire due to neighbouring farmers clearing farming land by setting it alight, leading to the explosion”. The president has appealed for international aid.

Some hospitals have been overwhelmed by the number of patients admitted, state TV reported. It broadcast images of wounded people lying on the floor of a crowded hospital.

Video of the aftermath of the explosions showed a chaotic scene with distressed people fleeing as smoke drifted over the area.