Mozambique arms blast: 80 dead

Up to 80 people have been killed and over 360 injured after a series of explosions at an arms depot in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique.

Mozambique arms blast: 80 dead

Up to 80 people have been killed and over 360 injured aftera series of explosions at an arms depot in Maputo,the capital of Mozambique.

The blasts took place on Thursday evening, causingwidespread panic in the city.


Radio Mozambiquesaid the explosions sent mortars and rockets crashing into the residentialdistrict of Malhazine. 

Ambulances and private cars carried the injured to hospital,many with missing or damaged limbs.

Homes were destroyed and roofs blown off when explosivesfired from the armoury landed on nearby houses which went up in flames, causingpeople to flee in panic. 


Miguel Barreiro, a UN official in charge of the country'sdisarmament programme, said: "It's the biggest armoury in the country. Itcontains thousands of tonnes of weapons and ammunition."

The government said the blasts could have been triggered byhigh temperatures of up to 38C on Thursday.

Unice Mucaphe, the Red Cross programme director for Mozambique,said people were still being evacuated from the affected areas.

"There are eight neighbourhoods where people live whichare affected," she said.

"People are still being evacuated, there are housesdestroyed.  The difficulty is now to locate people because there are lotsof  children who are lost."

Child victims

A doctor at the capital's central hospitalsaid a large number of children were among the victims.

"We have had to do many amputations for thechildren," he said.

Armando Guebuza, the president, called off a visit to South Africafollowing the disaster.

In a radio address on Thursday, Guebuza appealed for calm.

"Our defence forces are working to assess thesituation. We call upon all our citizens to be calm until the situation isrectified," he said.

Maputo'sairport, situated near the armoury, remained closed on Friday following theblasts.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16