Sudan: 23+ Dead in Catastrophic Khartoum Bahri Gas Explosion

A pall of acrid smoke rises above the Sila ceramics factory in Khartoum.

Khartoum Bahri — At least 23 people have reportedly been killed and more than 130 injured in a gas explosion and subsequent fire that has 'completely gutted' the Sila ceramics factory and impacted on surrounding buildings in Kober district in Khartoum Bahri (North) today.

Final casualty figures are still being assessed as reports reach this station, however the latest estimates number at least 23 dead and 150 wounded.

The catastrophic chain explosion that was sparked while a gas tanker lorry was transferring its load to underground storage facilities at the ceramics factory was so strong that it impacted neighbouring buildings, which increased the death toll.

The Sudanese Doctors' Central Committee confirmed in a preliminary report that 48 cases, including 15 deaths, 6 critical cases, and 36 medium- and low-risk cases, have reached the Bahri Teaching Hospital. This is in addition to a number of injuries that reached the International Hospital, three of which are in critical condition in intensive care. Other wounded people were admitted to El Baraha Hospital.

A statement from the Council of Ministers confirms that the cause of the fire was the explosion of a gas tanker while it was unloading its cargo into storage tanks. They pointed to the absence of necessary safety measures at the factory, in addition to random storage of inflammable materials, "which contributed to the continuation and expansion of the fire and the destruction of the plant completely".

The statement said the injured have been rushed to at least five hospitals nearby while the Ministry of Health has mobilised all its resources to meet the emergency situation, appealing to people for blood donation to meet the increasing need of blood transfusion.

It pinpointed that senior officials, including the Minister of Industry and the Governor of Khartoum State, have rushed to the scene to help coordinate efforts and stand by the afflicted persons.

The Council sent its condolences to the families and friends of those killed in the incident and wished quick recovery for those injured, the statement said.

The Ministers have launched an investigation committee to determine who is responsible and to avoid a recurrence of such incidents in the future.

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