New Orleans rocked by explosions

Massive explosions on what witnesses said were railroad cars have rocked the New Orleans riverfront a few kilometres south of the French Quarter.

    Chaos has spread through the American city

    At about 4.35am local time on Friday the huge blasts jolted residents awake. The extent of any possible damage was not immediately known.

    An initial explosion sent flames of red and orange shooting into the pre-dawn sky. A series of smaller blasts followed, and then acrid, black smoke could be seen even in the dark. The vibrations were felt all the way downtown.

    Railroad cars

    "We're trying to get a hazmat (hazardous material) team out there right now," a New Orleans police official told cable network CNN.

    He said several railroad cars had blown up and "the main concern right now is what it is."

    The explosions appeared to originate close to the east bank of the Mississippi River, near a residential area and rail tracks. At least two police boats were at the scene.

    Chaos has spread through this desperate city since Hurricane Katrina struck, despite the promise of 1400 National Guardsmen a day to stop the looting, a $10.5 billion recovery bill in Congress and a relief effort US President George Bush called the biggest in US history.

    The hungry beg for help, bodies lie along flooded sidewalks, and bands of armed men have thwarted fitful rescue efforts.

    Gunfire in some areas on Thursday halted search and rescue efforts.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why some African Americans are moving to Africa

    Escaping systemic racism: Why I quit New York for Accra

    African-Americans are returning to the lands of their ancestors as life becomes precarious and dangerous in the USA.

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    North Korea's nuclear weapons: Here is what we know

    North Korea's nuclear weapons