A baker and a 10-year-old boy died in a fatal explosion that marred a local bakery in Mabanda, Douala IV Subdivision, on Sunday, January 28.
Two others suffered severe injuries and now find themselves battling for their lives in an intensive care unit at a medical facility in Douala.
Eyewitnesses revealed that the peaceful ambiance of the neighborhood was shattered by a deafening noise coming from the bakery, drawing the attention of onlookers.
The situation quickly escalated as wild flames engulfed the building, leaving devastation in their wake.
Mirabel, the mother of the 10-year-old victim, tearfully recounted the tragic sequence of events.
Speaking to Equinox TV, she said her son was lured into the bakery by one of the bakers who requested him to purchase a bottle of beer.
Tragically, the explosion occurred at the very moment the young boy returned with the beverage.
“The other son went inside and saw him. He came back and cried for help before one neighbor carried him outside. They said that one of the workers sent him to buy beer. When he brought the beer to give them, that is when the explosion happened,” Mirabel said.
An eyewitness who rushed to the scene upon hearing the commotion confirmed that one of the victims lost their life instantly.
“When I came here, I heard one of the workers had died inside. Shortly after, the firefighters came and confirmed that one worker had actually passed away,” the eyewitness reported.
The mother, Mirabel, expressed her desperation as her son succumbed to injuries during a harrowing journey between hospitals, ultimately meeting his tragic end on his way to Laquintinie Hospital.
“I pleaded until they carried him to Bingo Annex. When they went there, there was no oxygen. They went to Bonassama, but there was still no oxygen. They asked us to take him to Laquintinie, and he died while on the way,” she lamented.
As the firefighters battled the blaze for approximately three hours, successfully preventing it from spreading to nearby buildings, the material damage is estimated to be in the millions of Francs CFA.
While the exact cause of the explosion remains unknown, authorities have initiated investigations to shed light on the incident that has left the community in mourning.