17 killed in Tanzania military blasts

At least 17 people were killed when explosions rocked Tanzania’s capital city for several hours after an accident at a military base’s ammunition depot, the prime minister said Thursday. About 145 people were hurt and the death toll is likely to rise.

Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda said several houses were leveled during Wednesday night’s explosions, which sent huge orange bursts into the night sky over Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s capital. A hospital administrator said there were about 145 people injured.

Pinda said the death toll could rise.

The blasts closed the city’s international airport. Thousands of residents near the military base were evacuated to the national stadium. Residents reported feeling the explosions up to 20 kilometers (12 miles) away.

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Kapambala Mgawe said some buildings were still burning on Thursday.

The explosions happened at the Gongola Mboto military base in Dar es Salaam. An accident at the same base in 2009 killed more than a dozen people.