Chad: Deadly Fire at Ammunition Depot in Ndjamena

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A major fire broke out, causing extensive damage to a military ammunition depot. The blaze led to powerful explosions that could be heard several kilometers away from the Goudji neighborhood depot, which is situated near the capital’s airport. The fire resulted in at least nine fatalities and 46 injuries, as announced by the Minister of Public Health.

Nine people have died and 46 are injured, some critically. This grim toll was reported by the Health Minister during a press conference alongside five other government officials. “We have nothing to hide,” he stated, responding to journalists’ complaints about being denied access to hospitals. However, the Defense Minister declined to specify the number of military personnel among the casualties, as reported by our correspondent in Ndjamena, Carol Valade.

The Defense Minister assured that more secure storage facilities would be built and that those too close to the city center would be relocated. “Investigations have been launched, but it is too early to speculate on the cause of the fire,” added the Minister of Territorial Administration.

The explosion site is in ruins. President Mahamat Idriss D├ęby and the Prime Minister visited the scene this morning. The ammunition depot has been reduced to a field of rubble, with two large black craters, each about ten meters wide, at the center.

Occasional detonations can still be heard, and a strong smell of gunpowder lingers in the air. Surrounding neighborhoods are heavily damaged, with buildings shattered, houses gutted, and roofs torn apart. In one destroyed house, the floor was stained with blood from a young girl who was injured in the leg. Fortunately, her condition is now stable. The ground is littered with munitions of various calibers and some unexploded shells.

This tragic incident underscores the urgent need for improved safety measures and better-secured storage facilities to prevent such disasters in the future.


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