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Congolese struggle after deadly munitions blasts


Republic of the Congo

Congolese struggle after deadly munitions blasts

Survivors of Sunday’s devastating arms dump blasts in Congo have continued to overwhelm the main university hospital in the capital Brazzaville.

EU Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva saw for herself the challenge of trying to treat nearly 2,000 people, many with serious injuries. The official death toll stands at over 200.

“The hospital needs blood, needs additional doctors and nurses to be able to cope,” said the Commissioner responsible for organising the EU’s Crisis Response department. “We are providing immediate assistance through the Congolese Red Cross, 200,000 euros for medical supplies, and we are prepared to do much more if the needs grow.”

Many of those left homeless or bereaved say they blame the government for leaving them to live jammed up against the munitions dump for years with no thought for safety.

Ongoing explosions and fires have hampered efforts to recover the dead. There are now fears the flames could reach a second arms depot.

Sunday’s blasts, thought to have been triggered by an electrical fault, were so violent they buckled buildings and broke windows up to 10 kilometres away.

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