Explosions in Equatorial Guinea which took place at a military base in the port city of Batakilled more than a dozen people and injured more than 400 on Sunday. A fire in a weapons depot in the barracks caused the explosion. Those with serious injuries were transfered to hospitals. People were screaming and crying running through the streets amid debris and smoke. Roofs of houses were ripped off. President Teodoro Obiang Nguema said the 4 p.m. explosion was due to the “negligent handling of dynamite” in the military barracks located in the neighborhood of Mondong Nkuantoma in Bata. “The impact of the explosion caused damage in almost all the houses and buildings in Bata,” the president said in a statement.
The Health Ministry made a call for blood donors and volunteer health workers to go to the Regional Hospital de Bata. Foreign Minister Simeón Oyono Esono Angue met with foreign ambassadors and asked for aid. The defense ministry said Sunday that the cause of the explosions will be fully investigated. Equatorial Guinea, located south of Cameroon, is one of Africa’s smallest countries, with just over1.4 million residents. It was a colony of Spain until it gained its independence in 1968. Bata has 800,000 inhabitants.