March 8, 2021 | Susan Napier-Sewell

Massive Explosions in Bata, Equatorial Guinea

Bata explosion

A port city in Equatorial Guinea in Central Africa, Bata, was the site of major explosive blasts yesterday.

While the cause and details surrounding the blasts remain sketchy at present, reports indicate the current death toll from the blasts is at 20, with injured persons numbering around 600. Local coverage of the incident depicted scores of people entering hospitals and rescue efforts locating victims and pulling survivors from the rubble. News reporters broadcast pleas for blood donations. ABC News stated that “It was not immediately clear what caused the explosions in the city of Bata that sent smoke into the air and destroyed several buildings.”

Here’s what we currently know about the explosions in Bata

Bata, the largest city in Equatorial Guinea, was shaken by four multiple blast at a military camp on Sunday afternoon, March 7, 2021, as detailed by The Washington Post. The Post reported, “The Health Ministry said it had confirmed 17 dead and 420 injured. A doctor in Bata, a former capital, told the state-run TVGE television network that at least 20 were dead. In a statement read by TVGE’s broadcasters, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema called the incident an ‘accident’ and blamed it on the ‘negligence’ of those tasked with guarding stores of dynamite and munitions. He ordered an investigation and asked the international community for help in rebuilding parts of the city that had been destroyed.”

The Drive reports, ” It is thought that the incident occurred on or near a military base, near where the barracks are located. Dramatic footage shot in the blast’s aftermath shows widespread destruction and stunned bystanders. It is said that every structure in the city was impacted in some ways.”

“The Central African country has a relatively tiny military force and is an energy producer, although many of its people still live in extreme poverty. Many seconadary structures in Bata are not built well and would be particularly susceptible to a shockwave from a blast like this,” according to The Drive.

Video footage details extent of landscape damage in Bata

The video below contains footage from the Bata explosion, posted from the Twitter account of Intel Air & Sea (@air_intel):

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Accident, Investigations
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