(DW) – Equatorial Guinea’s largest city and main economic hub Bata was hit by four explosions on Sunday. The cause of the blasts remains unknown.
The Ministry of Health said that 17 deaths had been registered in nearby hospitals and at least 400 people had been injured. Many were feared dead or trapped under the rubble. It said on Twitter that the explosion occurred at a military barracks, where local media reported that thousands of people had been living.
State broadcaster TVGE reported that practically all of the houses in the military zone, as well as most of the houses nearby, had been damaged by the explosion. Reporters on the ground also reported seeing hospitals full of many wounded women and children
The health department told medical workers to head to hospitals, which were reportedly overwhelmed.
Vice President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue visited the scene of the explosion.
“Pain has hit Equatorial Guinea again right in the middle of its fight against the coronavirus pandemic with explosions this Sunday in the Rapid Intervention Barracks in Nkoantoma, in city of Bata. From here, I express my sincere grief for the victims,” the vice president wrote on Twitter.