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Tragedy Strikes as Explosion Engulfs Guinea’s Main Fuel Depot, Leaving 13 Dead and 178 Injured

by Anna

Conakry, Guinea — In a devastating incident, an explosion and subsequent inferno at Guinea’s primary fuel depot in the capital city of Conakry have resulted in the tragic loss of at least 13 lives and left 178 individuals injured, as reported by authorities on Monday. The catastrophic event unfolded as neighboring nations lent support to help Guinea grapple with the aftermath.

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The massive explosion, which ignited the fire at the Guinean Petroleum Company depot shortly after midnight on Sunday, caused extensive damage in the heart of the Kaloum administrative district, housing numerous government offices, according to Guinea’s presidency.

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Out of the 178 individuals injured, the government disclosed that at least 89 have received medical treatment and returned home. The casualty toll, initially deemed provisional by Guinea’s Civil Protection Service, was later updated to confirm that among the 13 fatalities were individuals of foreign nationality.

Authorities have initiated an investigation to ascertain the cause of the explosion at the depot, a critical supplier of fuel in Guinea. Notably, the depot had been in the process of relocation to a remote site, aiming to mitigate the potential for such disasters.

The incident has raised concerns about a significant disruption in the country’s fuel supply, heavily reliant on imported refined petroleum products. Officials are actively addressing essential fuel-related needs to avert potential disruptions in the supply chain from the capital to other regions, as stated in the government’s official release.

A worker from the depot, identified as Ahmed Condé and quoted by the Conakry-based Guinee Matin news website, recounted that the explosion occurred during a ship offloading. Condé expressed the devastating impact, lamenting the loss of friends and detailing the destruction of offices and equipment.

Guinea’s Security Minister, Bachir Diallo, confirmed on state television that the fire has been contained. He further highlighted international assistance, with countries such as Senegal and Mali dispatching medical and safety teams to aid in the response efforts.

The aftermath of the fire resulted in the destruction of several offices and buildings, compelling numerous residents to evacuate their homes amid thick smoke. Shutdowns were implemented for schools and public spaces in the capital, with access to the district restricted except for essential services. The presidency urged citizens to remain at home during these challenging times.

Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya, who assumed the role of interim president following a coup in 2021, assured that the state is providing comprehensive care for the injured. Doumbouya called upon the people of Guinea to exhibit solidarity and offer prayers for the nation in the face of this formidable trial.

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