Monday 5 March 2012

Munitions explosions

At least 146 people have been killed in a huge series of explosions at an arms depot in Brazzaville, capital of the Congo Republic, though some are claiming the true death toll is much higher.

Roofs were blown off houses, and streets littered with debris.   The government says the explosion was caused by an electrical fault.     Last year, more than 150 people were killed when a munitions factory blew up at Jaar in Yemen.

Perhaps the deadliest accidental munitions explosion of all happened at Lagos in Nigeria on January 27, 2002.   It started with a fire at an open air market in a barracks, but it quickly spread to a munitions store.  There was a series of deafening explosions and windows shattered for miles around.

About 20,000 people ran for their lives, and many of those who perished were crushed to death in the stampede.   At least 1,100 bodies were found, but many think the true death toll was nearer 2,000.  For the full story, see A Disastrous History of the World.

(See also my blog of Feb 17, 2011.)

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