At least 11 killed in Guinea oil terminal blast extent
At least 11 killed in Guinea oil terminal blast extent

At least 11 killed in Guinea oil terminal blast; extent of damage unclear

CONAKRY (Reuters) -At least 11 people were killed and 88 injured in a blast at an oil terminal in Guinea’s capital Conakry early on Monday, head of civil protection Jean Traore said, as the government warned the incident could directly impact the country’s population.

The explosion at the West African nation’s main oil terminal rocked the Kaloum administrative district in downtown Conakry, blowing out the windows of several nearby homes and forcing hundreds to flee, according to a Reuters witness.

The extent of the damage to the terminal was unclear. Guinea is not an oil producer and has no refining capacity. It imports refined products, mostly stored in the Kaloum terminal and distributed via trucks across the country.

The origin of the fire was unknown, and an investigation would be launched to determine its cause and any parties responsible, the government said in a statement.

It said the scale of the incident “could have a direct impact on the population.”

A huge fire and billowing black smoke were visible from miles away as firefighters rushed to the area, while several tanker trucks left the depot, escorted by soldiers and police.

Workers, excluding defence and security forces and medical personnel, were advised to stay at home. Public and private schools and most gas stations were also closed.

A Reuters reporter said people rushed to several emergency stations to secure fuel ahead of possible shortages.

The country has a small oil depot at the port in Kamsar, north of Conakry, which is mostly used by mining firms.

The repercussions of the blast were felt elsewhere in the country amid concerns over a fuel shortage. In the town of Mamou, around 260 km from Conakry, vehicle owners besieged gas stations.

“A litre of gasoline is currently being sold for 20,000 Guinean franc ($2.35) on the black market. It’s at this price that I was able to obtain a few litres to continue work,” said Alpha Bah, a motorcycle taxi rider, told Reuters by phone.

Previously, a litre sold for 12,000 Guinean franc.

A thick column of smoke and some flames were still visible on Monday afternoon after firefighters brought the blaze under control.

A source close to Conakry’s central prison said the blast had caused damage to the building, located not far from the oil terminal.

($1 = 8,510.0000 Guinea francs)

(Reporting by Saliou Samb; writing by Bate Felix and Anait Miridzhanian; editing by Jason Neely, Gerry Doyle and Bernadette Baum)

Sila Baca Juga

Spain Ireland Norway condemn Rafah attack affirm Palestinian recognition

Spain, Ireland, Norway condemn Rafah attack, affirm Palestinian recognition

ISTANBUL: Israel’s Sunday (May 26) attack on Rafah, which killed at least 35 Palestinians, has …