Yaounde, Cameroon—Calm is gradually returning to Yaounde after a clandestine cooking gas warehouse caught fire on Saturday November 22, 2014 leading to explosions that left inhabitants of some neighborhoods of the town in a state of pandemonium.
Inhabitants of Etoudi-Abatoire, near the presidential palace-scene of the explosion say the cooking gas vendor whose names we could not get at the time of this report, was manipulating the 12KG gas bottles, reducing its contents and filling other empty bottles before it caught fire. The fire that lasted several hours before being masterminded by the firefighting brigade has left serious material damages.
The explosions left inhabitants of the capital city wondering as most of them considered it as a terrorist attack given the insecurity that currently prevails in the Northern part of the country.
Neighboring inhabitants to the cooking gas retailer; mostly Muslims told this reporter that when the explosions started, they immediately rush to a church in Etoudi for solace as they thought it as an attack by the Nigerian sect, Boko Haram.
Beside houses, vehicles and other valuable materials that were damaged, the explosions burnt down electricity cables and poles close to the warehouse that was completely consumed by the flames leading to blackouts in most neighborhoods of the capital city.
According to some eye witnesses we met at the scene on Sunday November 23, 2014 the incident left about 11 people dead. Some neighbours however say several people sustained injuries and were rushed to the Yaounde Gynaco Obstetric and Pediatric Hospital in Ngousso. At the time of this report, our efforts of getting the hospital officials comment on the issue were fruitless.
Roland Kintari an inhabitant of the Etou-Abatoire neighborhood told this reporter he immediately thought about the Burkina Faso scenario when the explosions started.
The area has been put under military surveillance since the Saturday and workers of the electricity company are working to replace the burnt cables while specialized services are also on the field to establish the real cause of the fire as well as the level of human and material damages.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi