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First reaction to the Brazzaville disaster

March 4th, 2012

When I boarded a flight Sunday morning for Kinshasa I was receiving the first news of explosions rocking Brazzaville, the capital of Congo. By the time I arrived, the news had got a lot worse: reports that hundreds of people had died and many more were injured by what was being reported as an accident at a military munitions dump.

The explosions were so huge they even rocked areas of Kinshasa, separated by six kilometres of the Congo River from Brazzaville.

My deepest sympathies go out to all those killed, injured and affected by these terrible events. I am closely following how this develops and looking at how we can help as quickly and urgently as possible.

It’s late here and the full picture won’t be revealed until tomorrow but I am terribly concerned to hear that among the victims were people at a hospital and a church, where a mass was being celebrated.

It’s another terrible reminder that disasters, man-made and natural, can strike at any time and when least expected. My heart goes out to all those caught up in this dreadful disaster.

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