Congo Blast Kills 109

Congo map
Emergency workers on Monday pulled eight decomposing bodies from the wreckage of a hangar that collapsed in a string of airport explosions, bringing the death toll to 109.

Kinshasa Gov. Theophile Bemba Fundu said a mass funeral would likely be held Wednesday for the victims of Friday's blasts at the city's N'Djili international airport. The cause of the explosions was still unclear.

More than 200 people were also injured in the blasts. Fundu said 28 badly burned bodies still have not been identified.

Red Cross workers resumed the search through the hangar in the morning after quitting nearly 24 hours earlier for lack of food, water, and tools. Rain fell overnight.

It was not known how many people were still missing after the explosions knocked over the hangar, used by customs and tax officials to handle incoming cargo.

Relatives of the dead complained of their treatment of the victims.

"We have asked even for the ashes of our brothers. But the authorities have refused to give us even that," said Lubunga Bya Ombe, a local British Broadcasting Corporation correspondent whose brother was among the dead.

Kibonge Munkeni, whose brother -- a customs official -- also died in the blasts, said he found the corpse dumped unceremoniously in a sack outside the general hospital's morgue.

"There was no respect for the dead here. No one cares," Munkeni said.

Explanations for the blasts ranged from a short circuit to a soldier dropping ammunition while unloading a plane full of weapons. The blasts ignited stockpiles of rockets, shells and other weaponry in explosions that lasted about an hour, shattering windows and flinging debris for miles.

Although Congolese authorities said the explosions were accidental, a pro-government newspaper blamed saboteurs and said the national intelligence chief was arrested over the weekend for failing to heed warnings that Congo's rebels had been planning to sabotage the airport.

By Kamanga Mutond