Congo blast: Apocalyptic scenes

2012-03-04 22:39

Brazzaville - Stunned residents of Congo's capital surveyed damage caused by deadly blasts at a weapons depot on Sunday that levelled homes, destroyed military barracks and blew out windows in a neighbouring city.

"I experienced the apocalypse," said Jeanette Nuongui, the sole survivor from a family home that was destroyed in one of the blasts that rocked Brazzaville.

"It is by the grace of God I am here. My mother died, my father, my two brothers and my two sisters also. There's nothing left," she added.

At least 100 people, possibly many more, were killed and hundreds more wounded when a weapons depot caught fire, triggering a series of at least five explosions.

Firefighters were finding it hard to fight blazes because of ongoing blasts, officials said, with a military barracks and the area around the munitions depot devastated.

"It was the first explosion that blew everything up," said Victorien-Constant Obani, a soldier whose house was located opposite the barracks. His wife was injured in the arm.

"What happened here was more than a typhoon, more than a civil war," Obani said. "My house was destroyed, I don't know what I am going to do."

The blasts were even felt across the Congo River in the neighbouring city of Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where windows shattered on some buildings.

Munition camp destroyed

Soldiers said a blaze in two munition depots in the Mpila armoured brigade barracks, in east Brazzaville, had triggered the explosions.

"I was terrified by the smoke climbing into the sky," said Willy Kaba, who arrived soon after the first explosion at about 08:00 GMT. "After plucking up courage, I approached the scene and saw the whole munition camp destroyed - the buildings, the walls."

Resident Dutroc Messengo said a young man had lost both legs and another was killed when their house collapsed.

Another resident, Blaise Mongo, said women and children had fled to neighbourhoods away from the ruined area, while men stayed behind to protect what little remained from looters.

Near the barracks, three churches were damaged or destroyed and houses could be seen with their roofs hanging off, their doors broken and windows blown out.

Xinhua news agency said some 140 Chinese workers from the Beijing Construction Engineering Group were working near the munitions depot when the blasts occurred.

The dormitory building of China's Huawei company was badly damaged, but there were no casualties reported there, Chinese officials said.

Read more on:    congo  |  central africa
SHARE:

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
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

3 sports games you have to watch this weekend

Whether it’s date night or a braai with buddies, plan around these three exciting sporting games!

 
 

Men24.com

Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro
Hottie of the day: Colette

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. 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

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong focus on social interaction and connecting with your friends. You may have the need to expand and connect with a...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.