On the afternoon of 7 March 2021, a series of at least four powerful explosions occurred at a military barracks in the Nkoantoma area of Bata, the largest city in Equatorial Guinea. The blasts destroyed a number of residences in the area and caused damage to buildings across the city. Authorities set up a security cordon in the area, where rescue personnel continue to conduct search operations as of the afternoon hours of 8 March to locate people potentially trapped under the debris. The death toll from the blasts currently remains at 31, and approximately 420 people are hospitalized. The fatality count will likely rise. Authorities have attributed the cause of the blasts to carelessness in the handling and storage of explosive materials by military personnel at the barracks, which caught fire as farmers carried out stubble burning in the adjacent area.