An official in the Republic of Congo says more than 282 people were killed in a series of blasts at an arms depot earlier this month in the Central African nation.

Pierre Moussa said Saturday that the death toll rose because clearing crews have found more bodies in the capital. He says the death toll could rise further.

Officials previously said at least 246 people were killed in the March 4 blasts.

Moussa also said that clearing crews have gathered and destroyed more than 16 tons of munitions.

The blasts started when an arms depot inside a military barracks caught fire, setting off a lethal rain of grenades, mortar rounds, shells and rockets.