2007 Maputo arms depot explosion

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2007 Maputo arms depot explosion
Date22 March 2007
LocationMaputo
Deaths83
Non-fatal injuriesUnknown

The 2007 Maputo arms depot explosion occurred in the afternoon of Thursday March 22, 2007 in the Malhazine suburb of Maputo, capital city of Mozambique. It was reported that 83 people were killed, and hundreds more were injured, in a series of explosions that lasted from around 16:45 to at least 18:00.[1]

Background[edit]

The arms depot was constructed by the Soviet Union in 1984. The building housed Soviet-manufactured weapons used during the Mozambican Civil War.[2] An earlier explosion at the same location in 1984 killed 12 people.[citation needed]

In addition, a heat wave and drought had been affecting the area for much of the summer, with temperatures around 35° C (93° F) being reported.[2] The same heat wave was blamed for a much smaller explosion at the depot on January 28, 2007.[1]

Casualties and damage[edit]

Health Minister Ivo Garrido said on March 23 that 83 fatalities were reported and that more than 300 people were injured. Most of the casualties were either military personnel working at the depot or civilians, many of them children, who lived in a nearby poor neighborhood.[2] As a result, the government announced three days of national mourning and declared that flags be flown at half mast.[2]

The Interior Ministry ordered police to seal off the area to prevent looting of homes in the area abandoned after the explosion.[2]

The explosions could be heard all over the city, and even 9 km (about 5.5 miles) from the building, windows exploded.[1]

Cause[edit]

The Defense Ministry blamed the explosion on high temperatures.[2]

Reaction[edit]

The Interior Ministry ordered police and firefighters to aid the military in destroying the remaining ammunition at the depot, which had not been used since the country's civil war and was considered obsolete.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Explosions rock Maputo". Agência de Informação de Moçambique. 2007-03-22. Archived from the original on 2018-02-08. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Camillo, Emmanuel (2007-03-23). "Mozambique Weapons Depot Blast Kills 83". The Washington Post. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2011-08-05. Retrieved 2018-02-08.

External links[edit]