Breaking News – Explosions at Dar es Salaam military base close airport


The international airport in Dar es Salaam was closed last night, when a series of explosions rocked a nearby military base once again, the last such blasts having occurred in 2009. Information, though sketchy, from Dar indicates that as many as several hundred people may have been injured when debris and shell fragments rained on them from the skies, as the explosions continued unabated for hours. Fire fighting services and army personnel were unable at the time to approach the ammunitions dumps for fear of their own lives but eventually set up a wide cordon, thought to be between 10 – 15 kilometers wide around the army base, not letting people into the cordoned off area and trying to evacuate people living within the perimeter.

Regular airline sources were swift to decline answering questions about the airport closure, with only one actually citing ‘fear from above’ if he would be found as a source of information on ‘such a sensitive case, more as it is the second time this happens’. However, other sources did confirm that the explosions were heard across the entire city and blast waves were felt. It was also ascertained that major hotels immediately stepped up security as did foreign missions, while speculation rose to fever pitch over the cause of the explosions. Said one reliable source in frequent contact with this correspondent: ‘I think we can rule out terrorism here. The same base had similar explosions some year or so ago and it was an accident then and is likely a case of serious negligence resulting in another accident now. Why they are keeping such ammunition dumps so close to the city, so close to the airport, it however something government here must address. Have they learned nothing from the deaths and injuries of the last such tragic event? They should move the ammunitions away from heavily populated areas immediately. If you report this, do make sure people understand this was not a terror incident but an accident the way I see it’.

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office reacted promptly too, sending out a flash notice to British citizens living in Dar es Salaam to be extra cautious, citing a general warning on terror threats and possibilities of indiscriminate attacks on places frequented by expatriates and foreign visitors.

Further updates will be available during the course of the morning when undoubtedly the major media will pick up the story and start their own reporting on it.

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