At least 150 people are feared killed and some 1,500 others injured after a series of explosions in an arms depot in Congo’s capital Brazzaville.
The figures from a European diplomatic source have not been officially confirmed.
The blasts, reportedly caused by a fire, happened near a heavily-populated neighbourhood. Panic spread to Kinshasa in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, where windows were shattered.
Both governments urged calm and there was no immediate suspicion of anything but an accident.
In Brazzaville, reports said houses were flattened and the Russian embassy damaged.