AFRICA/CONGO - "The explosion razed the church of Saint Louis des Francais to the ground," says the Archbishop of Brazzaville, committed to assisting orphans and survivors

Monday, 5 March 2012

Brazzaville (Agenzia Fides) - "I am with the orphans of the victims of the disaster. The church of Saint Louis des Francais was completely blown away by the shockwave of the explosion" refers to Fides His Exc. Mgr. Anatole Milandou, Archbishop of Brazzaville, before the telephone communication was interrupted. The capital of the Republic of Congo was shocked yesterday morning, Sunday, March 4, due to a series of explosions which occurred in an ammunition deposit in the barracks of Mpila.
From other sources of the Catholic Church contacted by Fides we learn the details. "The church of Saint Louis des Francais is located in an area adjacent to the barracks where the explosions occurred. From what we know, the second explosion, when the Mass was over, there were still people near the building. We have no details yet, but certainly there were deaths and injuries among the faithful" refer our sources. It is difficult to obtain information because the entire area where the explosion occurred was closed by the military. Other places of worship suffered minor damage, such as the Basilica of St. Anne, but it is nothing compared to what happened in the epicenter of the explosion. The Church organized shelters for the homeless and for children orphaned or lost simply because of the general panic.
At least 3 loud explosions occurred from 8 am to 10.45 am, local time, followed by explosions of lesser intensity. "The explosion destroyed several buildings and caused a high number of victims. There is talk of over 2 thousand 200 people dead and wounded. But unfortunately the toll is expected to increase," concludes sources of Fides in Brazzaville. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 05/03/2012)