Congo blast: Troops recover bodies

2012-03-05 14:03

Brazzaville - Congolese soldiers on Monday began the grim task of recovering bodies from an area of Brazzaville devastated by huge explosions at a munitions depot that left 146 people dead and hundreds injured.

Soldiers combing the wreckage of homes in the Mpila area of the city recovered five bodies shortly after 09:00, an AFP correspondent at the scene said, amid fears there were many more in the densely populated area.

Thousands of people thronged neighbouring streets for news of relatives, and to pick over what remained of their homes.

The stench of decomposing flesh began to drift over the area early Monday as ambulances and hearses lined up to take away the dead.

The accident killed at least 146 people, according to a provisional count released by the authorities late Sunday, a toll which is expected to rise.

One resident told AFP earlier that a church had collapsed while people were inside attending a Sunday service.

A preliminary investigation has blamed a fire sparked by an electrical short-circuit.

Influx of victims

Brazzaville's hospitals have been overwhelmed by the influx of victims, with hundreds of injured crowded into wards and corridors, an AFP reporter said.

Authorities said they would open two churches, a covered market and sports stadiums to house thousands of people left homeless by the disaster.

Neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo said on Monday it was sending a team of 20 medical specialists to Brazzaville, as well as equipment and medication, government spokesperson Lambert Mende told AFP.

France and Morocco said they would send emergency medical aid.

Democratic Republic of Congo Foreign Minister Alexis Thambwe Mwamba and Health Minister Victor Makwenge Kaput will also visit Brazzaville "to express our solidarity and our compassion to our brothers and neighbours", Mende said.

Shockwaves from the explosions blew out windows in buildings in Kinshasa, which lies across the Congo river from Brazzaville.

- SAPA

NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

ANCYL: Not voting would be blasphemy

Not voting in the forthcoming elections would be blasphemy, the ANCYL says in a statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of struggle icon Nelson Mandela's Rivonia trial speech.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9360

The BlackBerry Curve 9360 smartphone comes preloaded with Blackberry OS7...

From R1595.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.