Congo blast injured 2 300 – officials

2012-03-09 12:13
Brazzaville - A blast in a Congolese munitions dump last weekend injured more than 2 300 people and left 14 000 homeless, with the death toll unchanged at nearly 200, the government said on Thursday.

Planning Minister Pierre Moussa, who heads a panel investigating the disaster, told parliament that 13 854 homeless had been accommodated at reception centres and 2 315 wounded had received hospital treatment.

Of the injured, 297 were still in hospital.

An earlier toll had given more than 1 300 injured and 5 000 homeless.

Government spokesperson Bienvenu Okiemy said the number of dead was still at nearly 200 following the explosions blamed on a short-circuit and fire.

"The centre of the disaster is at three sites: the first one, which includes the tank area [where the munitions dump exploded], was destroyed at 98%," said Moussa.

Only buildings that were being constructed by a Chinese company resisted the explosion.

The second area was destroyed at 90% and the third also suffered substantial damage, he added.

Funerals will be held in the city centre Sunday after a memorial service to be attended by President Denis Sassou Nguesso.

Read more on:    congo  |  central africa

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