Home News Fire Destroys Army Ammunition Depot in Chad

Fire Destroys Army Ammunition Depot in Chad

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The capital city of N’Djamena, Chad, was rocked by a fatal fire that broke out at a sizable military ammunition storage, causing buildings miles away to tremble.

As artillery went off amid the flames at regular intervals,  journalists and witnesses on the ground reported that the explosions from the late-Tuesday inferno turned the sky red and could be heard miles away.

With no specific number in hand, President Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno announced that there had been casualties and fatalities from the fire.

Declaring that an investigation into the incident will be launched, Deby posted on Facebook, wishing “peace to the souls of the victims, sincere condolences to the grieving families and a speedy recovery to the wounded.”

The sky burst into flames above the Goudji area, where the army’s largest depot of ammunition is located, for several hours before tapering off and finally ceasing after midnight.

The explosions shook buildings as far as seven kilometres (four miles) away and the flames were visible for miles.

“The roof of our house was blown off by one of the explosions,” said resident Kadidja Dakou, who lives in the Amsinene area near Goudji.

The 36-year-old and her three children took refuge in the street alongside their neighbours, for fear their houses would collapse, she told AFP by phone.

Authorities had cordoned off the area with a heavy security presence, where thick red smoke hung in the air long after the blasts stopped.

Foreign Minister Abderaman Koulamallah, who is also the government spokesman, said on Facebook that there were “huge explosions” at the site and urged the population to keep calm.

There are multiple homes in the neighbourhood that is the site of the depot, which sits near the international airport and a base where French troops are stationed.

The blaze “caused explosions of ammunition of all calibres”, an official with the French forces told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“For the moment, no French military personnel have been wounded”, he said.

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