An explosion and inferno at Guinea’s main fuel depot in the capital of Conakry has left at least 13 people dead and 178 injured, authorities have said.

The massive explosion sparked the fire at the Guinean Petroleum Company depot just after midnight on Sunday, Guinea’s presidency said.

It caused significant damage in the heart of the Kaloum administrative district, home to most government offices.

At least 89 of the 178 people injured have been treated and are back home, the government said in a statement.

It also updated the casualty toll that Guinea’s Civil Protection Service had earlier said was provisional. Among the 13 killed were foreigners, it added.

It was not immediately clear what caused the explosion at the depot, which supplies most of the fuel in Guinea.

The depot had been in the process of being moved to a remote site in a bid to avoid such a disaster.

Residents watch a plume of smoke from a burning oil depot in Conakry, Guinea, on Monday
Residents watch a plume of smoke from a burning oil depot in Conakry, Guinea, on Monday (AP)

There are now fears of a major supply disruption as the country relies on imported refined petroleum products.

A depot worker was quoted by the Conakry-based Guinee Matin news website as saying the explosion happened while a ship was offloading.

“I lost several of my friends in this fire. Some like me are guards, others are technicians… All offices are destroyed as well as all equipment,” Ahmed Conde said.

Security minister Bachir Diallo said on state television the fire has been contained and some countries including Senegal and Mali are sending medical and safety teams.

The fire destroyed several offices and buildings.

Many residents fled their homes as thick smoke spread.

“I was sleeping when I heard a whistle, then a deafening explosion,” said resident Mounatou Balde.

Firefighters tackling the blaze on Monday
Firefighters tackling the blaze on Monday (AP)

Authorities closed schools and public places in the capital.

Access to the district was shut except for essential services.

The presidency asked people to stay at home.

Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya, who was sworn in as interim president after a coup in 2021, said the state is taking full care of the injured.

“I call on the people of Guinea to show solidarity and prayer for the nation in these moments of hard trial,” he said.