On Monday, December 18, 2023, an extensive explosion occurred at the primary oil terminal in Conakry, the capital of Guinea, resulting in a reported minimum of eight fatalities and numerous injuries, according to officials.
Witnesses observed the blast shattering windows in downtown Conakry, prompting hundreds of residents to evacuate the vicinity. Authorities have taken precautionary measures, instructing the closure of schools and advising workers to remain at home.
The origin of the fire, which caused the explosion, remains unclear. A senior official at the Ignace Deen hospital informed AFP news agency that eight charred bodies were received at the morgue. Reports on the number of injured individuals range from 84 to 100.
The fire ignited around midnight local time and continued to rage for several hours. In response to the incident, the government has mandated the evacuation of residents in the affected area. The fire and ensuing billows of black smoke were visible from miles away, as reported by Reuters news agency.
Downtown Conakry has suffered widespread destruction due to the blaze. Government spokesman Ousmane Gaoual Diallo, in an interview with the BBC, stated that confirming casualty figures is challenging as the counting process is ongoing. To manage the crisis, a dedicated unit has been established under the prime minister’s supervision, addressing both the fire and its aftermath.
Mr. Diallo emphasized the strategic importance of the devastated oil depot, which served as a crucial supplier of fuel for almost the entire country.