July 13, 2024

Deadly blaze breaks out at ammunition depot in Chad

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People have been killed and injured after a huge fire broke out at an ammunition depot in Chad, causing major explosions, senior government ministers have said.

Foreign Minister Koulamallah Abderaman said the blaze happened at a military depot in the Goudji area of the capital, N’Djamena.

President Mahamat Idriss Deby sent his condolences to the victims and their families, without specifying the number of casualties.

Video footage, which has not been verified by the BBC, shows blasts lighting up the night sky.

Witnesses said they could be heard miles away.

Journalists working for AFP news agency said the blaze caused weapons to fire into the air.

There were “explosions of ammunition of all calibers”, a French official, who requested anonymity, also told the agency.

A resident told Reuters news agency he saw three wounded people on the street, while another said his neighbor was killed.

“Loud blasts woke us up,” Moustapha Adoum Mahamat said.

“Our house was shaking as if someone were shooting at us. Then we saw a big fire at the military camp and smoke and things exploding in the air,” he said.

“We could see artillery fly over us.”

Foreign Minister and government spokesman Koulamallah Abderaman urged the public to remain calm after the explosions.

“Peace to the souls of the victims, sincere condolences to the grieving families and a speedy recovery to the wounded,” President Deby wrote on Facebook.

The cause of the fire is not yet known, and the president has promised an investigation.

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