Ana səhifə

Mozambique 111 maputo arms dump explosion kills at least 72

Yüklə 41 Kb.
ölçüsü41 Kb.

An explosion in an armoury about 10 km from the centre of Maputo has killed at least 72 people and injured more than 330. The blast broke windows in buildings in the downtown area and sent rockets and shrapnel across the city. Explosions continued for at least three hours. The armoury is just beyound the airport, which is closed at present.
(I will send a more detailed report later when I have more information. jh

An article from Savana this morning in attached. Two clips in English below.)


News reports & clippings no. 111

     from Joseph Hanlon (

    23 March 2007


This is an irregular service of news summaries by Joseph Hanlon. To subscribe or unsubscribe, contact


Mozambique armoury death toll rises to 72 


MAPUTO - A series of explosions at a military armoury in Mozambique’s capital Maputo has killed at least 72 people and injured hundreds more, Mozambique’s health minister said on Friday.
The government said the blasts were triggered by high temperatures on Thursday. The explosions sent mortars and rockets flying into the Malhazine residenti al area near the city’s airport, which authorities closed.
About 20 tonnes of military equipment, some of it dating back to the country’s civil war in the 1970s and 1980s, was being stored at the military site.
Flames engulfed the suburb and dark smoke drifted over the city as ambulances ferried the wounded, many missing limbs, to hospital.
"At the moment we have 65 bodies in the mortuary at Maputo Central Hospital and seven others in Jose Macamo Hospital," Health Minister Ivo Paulo Garrido told the southern African nation’s state television.
"We also have 330 seriously injured people, most of them in intensive care units in three major hospitals. These numbers could increase as others are still streaming in," said Garrido.
President Armando Guebuza called off a visit to SA on Friday because of the disaster. He was expected to hold a news conference later after visiting some of the injured in hospital.
Authorities said they did not know when the airport, the busiest in the country, would reopen.

Maputo armoury to be moved after blasts
Maputo - Mozambican President Armando Guebuza announced on Friday that the Malhazine armoury near Maputo would be relocated, following a series of explosions there which killed at least 72 people, Vista News reported.
Speaking on a visit to the affected townships Guebuza said the government "will give all possible help to the affected people".
"The armoury will have to be relocated. It will be relocated," Guebuza told reporters on Friday.
He said his government would assess the extent of the destruction and help those affected.
Guebuza said: "Naturally we have to accept what has happened and work to resolve the problem."
The council of ministers was expected to meet on Friday to assess the situation and decide on what type of help would be extended to victims.
Official media said 72 people had been killed and more than 360 injured in the blasts that were felt more than 15km from the scene.
Independent sources said there were still more bodies not yet identified and more injured people who had not been accounted for.
Residents have called for the head of the defence minister.
Guebuza cancelled his scheduled visit to South Africa where he was scheduled to meet his counterpart President Thabo Mbeki to assess the situation.
Joaquim Mataruca, spokesperson for the ministry of defence, said that while the authorities were continuing investigations into the blasts they were currently blaming it on "severe heat generated by high temperatures".
"We have been experiencing high temperatures of 37 and 38 degrees in the past months and this accumulation could have resulted in the explosions," said Mataruca in a live transmission on state television channel, TvM.
He appealed to civil society to help the infected and for civilians to donate blood in the hospitals.
"We are preoccupied with normalising the situation and gathering information on the figures of the affected," he said.
Mataruca said the blasts were from "obsolete" arms which consisted of bombs, mines and ammunition in a warehouse at the armoury.
However, he said the ministry was in the process of destroying the obsolete munitions.
"Recently we destroyed more than 100 tons of obsolete arms and we will be destroying more in the near future," he said.
As early as 6am on Friday relatives and friends milled outside the outpatients section at Maputo hospital looking at a list of patients posted by authorities on a wall.
There were 302 names of people whose ages ranged from two years to more than 40.
Lucia Daniel, 39, a mother of two who was injured in the blasts said she heard a "loud explosion" before she was hit by flying fragments.
Daniel was treated and slept at the hospital and on Friday morning she was sitting in the out-patients waiting for family to take her home.
She was heavily bandaged around the head and her clothes were covered in dried blood.
In central Maputo glass from broken windows littered the streets and workmen had not swept the rubble by 6.30am.
Appearing separately on national television President Guebuza and Defence minister Tobias Dai appealed for calm.
"We are preoccupied by the situation and we call for calm. Our defence forces are working to assess the situation. We call upon all our citizens to be calm until the situation is rectified," said Guebuza in a five-minute speech on the national television channel TvM at 7.40pm.
"We do not have enough information on the blasts and again we call for calm until the government gathers more information on what happened," he said.
Guebuza said his government lamented the occurrence of the heavy blasts which lasted more than three hours.
Televisions stations continued to transmit live from Maputo Central Hospital where they said "every five minutes" ambulances and private vehicles brought in victims.
Earlier Dai said in a television broadcast that army engineers were "working to see what had caused the blasts".
The explosions which started around 4pm could still be heard from Maputo city, about one kilometre from the scene, around 7pm. [jh note: actually 10 km]
Traffic police continued to erect roadblocks for vehicles travelling in the direction of the blasts.
Most people had to walk to the townships near the armoury as they were worried about their families and houses.
Live images, shown on TvM, the national broadcaster, showed flames coming from the scene.
This is the third time that the national army armoury, which was built by the Russians, has gone up in smoke since 1985.
In September 1985 12 people were killed, while in January this year, three people were seriously injured in blasts at the armoury. At the time authorities attributed the blasts to high temperatures.
. - Sapa
Published on the Web by IOL on 2007-03-23 11:21:13

-----------------© Independent Online 2005. All rights reserved. IOL publishes this article in good faith but is not liable for any loss or damage caused by reliance on the information it contains.


Verilənlər bazası müəlliflik hüququ ilə müdafiə olunur © 2016
rəhbərliyinə müraciət