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Guinea: Massive Explosion Closes Port
In the early hours of 18 December, a massive explosion at Guinea’s main national oil depot in the Kaloum district of downtown Conakry brought all commercial activity to a standstill, including that of the port of Conakry.
The explosion and ensuing fires destroyed homes, killing at least fourteen people and injuring some 190 more.
People fled their damaged homes in fear of their lives. To relieve the resulting bottleneck on the road into the Kaloum peninsula and enable the emergency services to intervene, the government closed access to the Kaloum district and ordered those who had stayed to remain indoors.
According to Budd Conakry, the only people in the streets of Kaloum yesterday were the security forces and the fire brigade. They themselves have been working from home since the explosion occurred and we were relieved to learn that they and their loved ones are all safe and sound.
For the time being, the port is still closed and we are monitoring the situation.
The fact that Kaloum is the site of the Presidential palace and various government buildings fuelled rumours about the cause of the explosion. The government has announced a full investigation.
In the meantime, the destruction of Guinea’s largest fuel depot brings fears of shortages and spiralling prices.
Information provided by Budd Guinea (firstname.lastname@example.org)