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Chad ammunition depot explosion kills 9, wounds dozens more

June 19, 2024

Chad's government said there was a fire and explosions at an ammunition depot in the capital, N'Djamena. The cause of the deadly blaze was not immediately clear.

The explosion in Chad
The explosion occurred after a fire tore through an ammunition depot in N'Djamena Image: Nurettin Boydak/Anadolu/picture alliance

At least nine people were killed and dozens more were wounded after an explosion at an ammunition storage facility in Chad on Tuesday.

A fire broke out at a military ammunition depot in Chad's capital causing a series of explosions, government spokesman and Foreign Affairs Minister Koulamallah Abderaman said.

Chad's Health Minister Abdelmadjid Abderahim said 46 people were in an "extremely serious" condition and that the death toll could increase.

What do we know about the blast?

Chadian broadcaster Tchad One shared video footage appearing to show a large fire and several flashes from apparent follow-on blasts.

On Wednesday, unexploded shells and other munitions remained scattered around the burnt-out wreckage.

The depot is in the north of the city near the international airport. N'Djamena is home to around 1.6 million people or roughly 10% of Chad's population

Investigation underway

Chad was in the news last month as its population voted after three years of military rule without elections, picking Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno — the son of the country's sixth president, Idriss Deby Itno — as its seventh.

Deby visited the scene of the explosion on Wednesday as well as hospitals where the injured were being treated.

"Peace to the souls of the victims, sincere condolences to the grieving families and a speedy recovery to the wounded," the president wrote in a Facebook post.

He also promised an investigation into the cause of the fire. 

zc,msh/sms,lo (AFP, Reuters)