BY: CHRISTINE THEODOROU AND IVAN PERIERA, ABC NEWS

(NEW YORK) — At least 17 people are dead and hundreds of others are hospitalized following an explosion at a military camp in Equatorial Guinea Sunday evening, according to the country’s health ministry.

It was not immediately clear what caused the explosions in the city of Bata that sent smoke into the air and destroyed several buildings.

Residents were seen going through rubble to find survivors while others were helping transport the wounded to hospitals.

The Health Ministry said three hospitals were treating 420 injured individuals as of 8:40 p.m. local time.

ABC News’ Joshua Hoyos contributed to this report.

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