11 Dead, Many Injured in Explosion at Petroleum Plant

Senegal and Mali were sending additional medical and safety teams.

Kristen Kazarian, Managing Editor

December 20, 2023

2 Min Read
Explosion rocks West African country of Guinea
The depot was in the process of being relocated to a safer location.Image courtesy of dzika_mrowka / iStock / Getty Images Plus

An explosion at Guinea's main fuel depot in the capital of Conakry left at least 11 people dead and more than 80 seriously injured, authorities said Monday, as the West African country awaited help from other nations and the death toll was expected to rise, AP News and local news stations reported.

The massive explosion sparked the fire at the Guinean Petroleum Company Depot in Guinea, on the southern coast of West Africa, after midnight Sunday, Guinea’s presidency said. It caused significant damage in the heart of the Kaloum administrative district, home to most government offices.

At least 88 people sustained serious injuries, said Lt. Col. Jean Traore, technical director of Guinea’s Civil Protection Service. “This assessment is only provisional,” he told reporters.

It was not immediately clear what caused the explosion at the depot that supplies most of the fuel in Guinea. The depot had been in the process of being relocated to a remote site in order to avoid a disaster.

There are now fears of a major supply disruption as the country relies on imported refined petroleum products.

A worker at the depot was quoted by the Conakry-based Guinee Matin news website as saying the explosion occurred while a ship was offloading. “I lost several of my friends in this fire. Some like me are guards, others are technicians. … All offices are destroyed as well as all equipment,” said the worker.

Security Minister Bachir Diallo said on state television the fire had been contained and nearby countries, including Senegal and Mali, were sending medical and safety teams.

The fire razed several offices and buildings. Many residents fled their homes as thick smoke spread.

Authorities shut down schools and public places in the capital. Access to the district was shut except for essential services. The presidency asked residents to stay at home.

On Tuesday, two days after the blast and resulting fire, news reports shared that transportation costs in Conakry skyrocketed.

About the Author(s)

Kristen Kazarian

Managing Editor

Kristen Kazarian has been a writer and editor for more than three decades. She has worked at several consumer magazines and B2B publications in the fields of food and beverage, packaging, processing, women's interest, local news, health and nutrition, fashion and beauty, automotive, and computers.

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