Eight people dead in Guinea oil terminal blast, says police

Eight people dead in Guinea oil terminal blast, says police

The blast occurred in downtown Conakry, at the only oil terminal in the West African country.

At least eight people were killed and 84 injured following a blast at an oil terminal in Guinea’s capital Conakry early on Monday, a senior police officer said.

The officer said the toll was provisional, adding that the blaze was being contained.

The blast at the West African nation’s only oil terminal, rocked the Kaloum administrative district in downtown Conakry, blowing out the windows of several nearby homes and forcing hundreds to flee the area, according to a Reuters witness.

AFP reports that the fire began not long after midnight.

A huge fire and billowing black smoke could be seen from miles away as firefighters rushed to the area, while several tanker trucks left the depot, escorted by soldiers and police.

In a statement, the government announced the closure of schools in the capital and urged workers to stay at home.

“Private and public sector workers are asked to stay home” and “public and private schools have been closed”, the statement said. The cause of the fire remains unknown, officials said, and its “scale and consequences could have a direct impact on the population”.

This is a developing story. More to come.