Many dead in DR Congo blast caused by lightning - UN

View of a house destroyed at the Camp Brigade after an explosion at an arms depot in Mbuji-Mayi, the central Democratic Republic of Congo, on 25 January 2014 The explosion destroyed houses near an arms depot in the central city of Mbuji-Mayi

An explosion at an arms depot in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed at least 20 people, UN officials say.

The explosion happened on Friday after a bolt of lightning caused a fire at an army base in the city of Mbuji-Mayi.

More than 50 people were also injured and houses were destroyed, said the statement by the Monusco UN mission.

The aim of the Monusco is to neutralise armed groups in DR Congo, which is struggling to recover from a war that killed millions between 1998 and 2003.

Friday's blast, which occurred near the main market in Mbuji-Mayi, caused "desolation" in the central city, according to Monusco.

"I have instructed our office in Mbuji-Mayi to stand by and support local authorities in dealing with the situation," said Martin Kobler, head of the peacekeeping mission.

Mbuji-Mayi is DR Congo's third-largest city and is at the heart of the county's diamond mining industry.

DR Congo has massive mineral resources but most of its people live in poverty.

More on This Story

More Africa stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on BBC News

  • bikeWheels of change

    Ten new bikes that are reinventing the humble two-wheeler for the 21st Century

Programmes

  • A bird of prey in a Tokyo animal cafeThe Travel Show Watch

    From cats to rabbits and birds of prey – Tokyo’s flourishing animal cafe scene

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.