Explosion, Blaze At Guinea Fuel Depot Kills 14, Injures 190

This image grab taken from AFPTV video footage on December 18, 2023 shows flames from the fire at Conakry’s main fuel depot . At least eight people were dead on December 18, 2023 after an explosion and fire at Guinea’s main fuel depot in the capital of Conakry, a hospital official told AFP. (Photo by STRINGER / AFP)

A strong explosion and fire at Guinea’s main gasoline storage rocked the city of Conakry early on Monday, causing significant damage and putting the city to a complete stop. Fourteen people were killed and 178 others were injured.

Thick black smoke covered the skies, forcing workers to stay at home and closing schools. Images posted on social media revealed that locals had left the area where the explosion happened.

The event occurred at the national oil company’s major facility in the Kaloum neighborhood of Conakry, close to the port, at around midnight (0000 GMT).

A government statement shown late on national television Monday stated that the fire was contained in the afternoon and that 113 of the injured, who were receiving treatment in hospitals and by emergency services, had been released from custody.

As the government awaits the findings of an investigation it requested, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, the leader of the ruling junta that took control after a coup in 2021, asked for “solidarity and prayer for the nation in this difficult time.”

The administration in Conakry and the surrounding area issued an announcement regarding the closure of schools and asked workers to remain at home.

“It was a deafening noise that woke us up,” a resident told AFP.

“The windows of our home and those of our neighbours were smashed. We managed to get away from the place,” he added.

Dansa Kourouma, head of the National Transitional Council (CNT) — the parliament appointed by the military junta — said the fire had caused “extensive damage including loss of human life”.

Crisis Unit

This image grab taken from AFPTV video footage on December 18, 2023 shows people in front of the flames from the fire at Conakry’s main fuel depot. (Photo by STRINGER / AFP)

An AFP journalist observed dozens of water utility trucks and civil protection cars at the scene.

The port area was cordoned off by security personnel, and there was a pungent stench of burned fuel.

Security Minister Bachir Diallo is in charge of a crisis force that has been established.

According to the ministry of information, there is also a health emergency plan in place to assist the injured.

According to Diallo, foreign emergency rescue workers—particularly those from Senegal and Mali, two neighboring countries—will come shortly.

The European Union and the United States have expressed their solidarity.

Service stations are temporarily closed across the country.

An evacuation point for people living nearby has also been established at the parliament building, the government said.

‘Thrown To Ground’

“We heard a loud bang which threw us to the ground without understanding what was happening,” local resident Marietou Camara told AFP.

“We prayed, hoping for God’s favour. Others didn’t try to understand, opting to head for the suburbs,” she added.

On Monday, the usually bustling port sector was empty; some residents had fled the center area quickly throughout the night, while others remained inside.

Officials stated that the fire’s “scale and consequences could have a direct impact on the population” despite not knowing what started it.

Doumbouya commanded a junta that took control of Guinea in September 2021 after using soldiers to invade the presidential palace and remove civilian president Alpha Conde.

Following decades of autocratic control, Conde became the first democratically elected president of Guinea in 2010.

By January 2026, Doumbouya has pledged to return power to chosen civilian leaders.

Written by PH

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