Chad's health minister, Abdelmadjid Abderahim, has revealed that a fire at a military ammunition depot in the country's capital has left at least nine people dead and injured more than 46.

The minister warned that the death toll could rise because several others were seriously injured.

The blasts lit up the night sky over the military camp near the central African country's principal international airport, sending spent shells flying into surrounding homes as panicked inhabitants scrambled for shelter.

On Wednesday morning, President Mahamat Idriss Deby went to the site, where crushed automobiles and twisted metal littered the ground surrounding a crater.