A military camp in Equatorial Guinea and neighboring residential areas echoed with the explosion of 4 back-to-back explosives that were accidentally set off after the farmers set fire to burn the stubble in their fields, and the fire got out of control. The explosives caught fire, which was stored negligently by the soldiers. The accident supposedly happened in the middle of the afternoon.
The damage caused by the explosions as high as the “high caliber” explosives caused shockwaves around Bata, and the death count currently is 30 people, with more than 600 people being injured as an effect of the blast. Many more may be buried under the rubble.
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The health ministry has urgently requested blood donations for the blast victims and called for volunteer health workers to assist in this time of need. The blast has flattened homes near the military camp, and most of the destructions are on the outskirts of Bata, where the military camp is situated. The scene looks like a war zone but is a result of mere negligence on military officials’ hands.
The unit at Nkoa Ntoma military camp is responsible for keeping in reserve the explosives, dynamites ad ammunitions, and the blast due to negligence on the unit’s part.
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema has blamed the accident on the local farmers who were burning the stubble on their fields and the military camp’s munition department for negligence on the storage of the explosives.
City Of Bata
The city of Bata kept burning due to the explosion, and sounds of small explosions kept on going through the night. A radius of 2-4km from the blast’s origin is inaccessible, even to the residents. Rescue workers and civilians are constantly working to save the injured and recover the bodies amidst the smoky ruins where once stood homes for many.
The hospitals are overfilled with victims of the blast, and some are even lying on the floor waiting to be taken care of. Videos of the blast are circulation on the internet showing the blast minutes’ effect after the blast, with the people panicking and running as the streets filled with dust and smoke and the sound of the blast echoing in the background.
The Spanish Embassy in Malabo issued a notice informing its nationals not to leave their homes and also issued emergency numbers for those in need of help.
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema has announced an investigation by a proficient team to determine the actual cause of any to reach a conclusion on the damages caused and the clarifications on the accident that devastated the city, Bata.
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Equatorial Guinea is the only Spanish-speaking country in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Teodoro Obiang Nguema is the world’s longest-serving president, with 42 years as the President of Equatorial Guinea, and is often accused of neglecting his citizens’ rights. Teodoro Obiang Nguema overthrew his uncle, Francisco Macias Nguema, in 1979, who had reigned over the country since its independence from Spain in 1968 and had him executed by the firing squad.
The President and his family have also been accused of corruption. Teodoro Obiang Nguema has also appointed his son, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, as the Vice President of the country, along with the authority of defense and security, and is expected to the successor of the current President.
The capital of Equatorial Guinea is Malabo, which is situated on the island of Bioko.
William Laurance, a regional security officer in West Africa, believes that the country was unprepared for a crisis of this level and is devastating on every level. He believes that the country is lagging for disaster management both of natural and human-made nature, and the country’s healthcare is already hard hit by the Covid-19 situation. This disaster has increased the burden on the healthcare department of the country.
Brochenin Olivier, the French ambassador in Equatorial Guinea, has also conveyed his sympathy over the catastrophic event of Bata.
Call for help:
Equatorial Guinea’s long-term President, Teodoro Obiang Nguema, has requested international aid. This crisis has arisen at a difficult time, where the country is in economic crisis the petrol prices are falling. The world is struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The President has also requested the International community to support them given the vast damages caused to the infrastructure and economic resources.
Bata is known as the biggest city rich in gas and oil in Central Africa, with a population of 800,000 of Equatorial Guinea’s 1.4 million, most of them stricken with poverty.