Death toll from Congo blaze hits 236

The death toll from a fire at an armoury in the capital, Brazzaville, rose to at least 236 yesterday. The blaze caused devastation when it catapulted shells, rockets and other munitions into a densely-populated area on Sunday.

Police said international firefighting teams brought the main blaze under control and prevented it spreading to a second munitions depot 100m away. The second depot contains even heavier-calibre weapons, such as multiple rocket-launchers, a military source said. It is unclear whether rescue efforts could start in earnest today, some 48 hours after the blasts.