Deadly Fire Destroys Chad Army Ammo Depot, Govt Promises Investigation - Beyond Boders

Deadly Fire Destroys Chad Army Ammo Depot, Govt Promises Investigation

A huge fire broke out late Tuesday at a major military ammunition depot in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad.

The fire caused big explosions that lit up the night sky and shook buildings all over the city.

Early Wednesday, government spokesman, Abderaman Koulamallah, said the cause of the fire was not thought to be criminal, but they are investigating to find out what happened.

Initial reports said there were deaths inside the ammo depot, but Koulamallah said the number of civilian deaths was lower than expected.

“We were expecting dozens and dozens of deaths. In the end, the collateral damage isn’t very big,” Koulamallah said, explaining that civilian casualties were relatively low.

People living nearby described scary scenes as the explosions hit the Goudji area, which has Chad’s largest ammo depot. Kadidja Dakou, who lives in the Amsinene area, said one of the blasts destroyed her roof, forcing her and her children to run to the streets for safety.

President Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno expressed his condolences and promised a full investigation into the incident. He said there were casualties and injuries, but exact numbers were not given yet.

Witnesses and journalists reported that the explosions shook buildings up to seven kilometers away and that flames could be seen from far away.

The nearby French military confirmed the size of the incident and said no French soldiers were hurt, although the explosions sent thick red smoke into the sky.

Chad, important in the fight against jihadist groups in the Sahel region, has been facing political problems since former President Idriss Deby Itno died last year. His son took over after disputed elections.

Authorities have closed off the area around the depot with heavy security as investigations continue.

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