Chad military arms depot blast leaves 9 dead

Paul Murphy and Sharon Braithwaite

A massive explosion on Tuesday evening near Chad’s capital city of N’Djamena killed at least nine and injured 46 others, according to a statement from its foreign minister.

Video authenticated and geolocated to the international airport in N’Djamena shows a massive fireball and sparks rising in the night sky.

Satellite imagery from Maxar Technologies shows that 17 structures at the ammo depot were destroyed.

In the satellite image, the structures destroyed in the explosion were spread out, and in two groups that were at opposite ends of the complex.

It’s unclear if multiple explosions occurred, which would have destroyed all of the structures. It’s also unclear what caused the explosion at this time.

“Our house was shaking as if someone were shooting at us,” a resident Moustapha Adoum Mahamat told Reuters after the blast. “Then we saw a big fire at the military camp and smoke and things exploding in the air,” he also said, adding: “We could see artillery fly over us.”

The explosion happened a few kilometers away from the country’s main international airport, but it was not affected, authorities said.

Chad’s president Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno said that an investigation will be conducted into the cause of the fire at the ammunition depot.

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