600 injured and at least 20 dead in Equatorial Guinea blasts
At least 20 people have been killed and around 600 injured in a series of explosions at a military base in Equatorial Guinea, officials say. Officials say Sunday’s blasts in the main city, Bata, were caused by stubble burning by farmers and negligence in the storage of dynamite at the base.
Equatorial Guinea, a tiny West African country of 1.3 million people located south of Cameroon, was a colony of Spain until it gained its independence in 1968. Health officials said that they believed there were people missing in buildings damaged by the blast.
Television stations showed teams pulling people from piles of rubble, some of whom were carried away wrapped in bed sheets. It said 420 people were injured, citing a local health official. Inside, wards were overwhelmed with the wounded, many covered in blood. Some lay on the floor or on tables, awaiting attention.
While Bata sits on the mainland, the capital Malabo is on Bioko, one of the country’s islands off the west African coast. Telephone communication between the two cities was virtually cut off for several hours after the explosions.