Dar es Salaam: A military ammunition depot in
Tanzania`s largest city blew up overnight in a series of
explosions that levelled homes, killed at least 25 people and
wounded about 145 others. Thousands ran for their lives, and
200 children have been unable to find their parents.
Several houses and a school were levelled during last
night`s explosions, which sent huge orange bursts into the
night sky over Dar es Salaam. Debris showered parts of the
city 10 miles from the Gongola Mboto military base where the
depot was located.
It was at least the second such ammunition depot
explosion at a military base in Dar es Salaam since 2009.
Abdallah Shimbo, the army`s chief of staff, said today that 25
people died from the blasts. A military spokesman said the
explosions were accidental but gave no details. A hospital
administrator, Mussa Wambura, said about 145 people were
injured, some "badly hit by the blasts."
The blasts closed the city`s international airport, near
the Gongola Mboto military base. Some 4,000 residents were
evacuated to the national stadium in Dar es Salaam, which lies
along the Indian Ocean in East Africa.
When the explosions hit, thousands of people living in
nearby neighbourhoods fled, said Julius Kejo, a Red Cross
worker helping at a shelter for displaced people. The blasts
sent residents scrambling in all directions, scattering
families and separating parents from their children.
"It was panic. It was many people moving away, because it
happened in the night, thousands of people moving," Kejo said.
"People were just running, so some children were lost in the
mobs of people. Now at the centers we are trying to get them
connected with their relatives."