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Fire and smoke rises after a fire triggered a series of explosions at a military ammunition depot at Goudji area in Chad's capital N'Djamena on June 19, 2024. PHOTO/CFP

Explosion at Chad ammo depot blaze kills at least nine

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Nine people were killed and more than 40 injured when a fire set off explosions at a military ammunition depot in Chad’s capital, an official said Wednesday.

Government spokesperson Abderaman Koulamallah said 46 people were being treated for various injuries after the explosions jolted residents from their sleep late Tuesday in the Goudji district of the capital, N’Djamena.

The explosions lit up the sky as thick smoke covered the clouds in the West African nation, setting off frantic efforts to extinguish the fire as residents fled their homes for safety.

The fire is under control. President Mahamat Deby Itno said an investigation will be conducted to determine the cause of the fire.

“Peace to the souls of the victims, sincere condolences to the bereaved families, and quick recovery to the injured,” Deby said on Facebook. He later visited the scene of the accident as well as hospitals where the injured were being treated.

Local media reported the blasts started just before midnight as nearby buildings shook and ammunition was thrown from the depot with explosive force.

Authorities called on residents to stay out of the area, which was taken over by security forces gathering the scattered artillery shells.

Allamine Moussa, a resident, called on the government to “come to our aid urgently” after he and other residents fled their homes.

“Many families have recorded deaths and it’s sad,” Moussa said.

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