8 injured as fire guts ammunition depot in South Sudan

  • World
  • Monday, 26 Feb 2024

JUBA, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- At least eight people were injured Saturday in a fire that gutted an ammunition depot of the South Sudan People's Defense Forces (SSPDF).

SSPDF spokesperson Lul Ruai Koang confirmed on Sunday the fire that broke out midnight Saturday destroyed the ammunition depot at Giada military barrack in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.

The fire was suspected to have been caused by hot weather.

"In the last three days, Juba has been very hot with temperatures going to around 40 degrees Celsius. Some of the weaponry systems, some of the rounds of ammunition we have do not go together with very hot temperature," Koang told journalists in Juba.

"We have registered eight casualties that got injured. Eight servicemen got injured by shrapnel. Two civilians -- a six-month-old girl and a woman that was pregnant who later had a miscarriage due to the explosion -- were among those injured," he said.

He said that several shells and ammunition rounds, including missile systems, were destroyed in the fire.

"There was no fighting. It was just an explosion. Nothing else. It must have been ignited as a result of extremely hot weather," Koang said.

He said the army will in the long run build a modern arms depot in Juba with a proper cooling system.

A similar incident happened in June 2023, when a fire sparked by "dangerous ordinance" destroyed the headquarters of SSPDF Division Four in Unity State, injuring 15 people, including five civilians.

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