The collision of a truck with explosives with a motorcycle generated this Thursday a devastating explosion in a mining area Ghana, which caused at least the death of 17 people, while another 59 were injured. The security forces activated a “emergency operation” to ensure that all affected people are cared for.
The explosion occurred around noon in Apiate, near Bogoso, a city some 300 kilometers to the west of accra, the capital of that West African country rich in mineral resources. Videos verified by the AFP agency show an important crater, deformed houses and scattered rubble for hundreds of meters. The images show several lifeless bodies, some dismembered, which show the violence of the explosion.
The first information reveals “an accident between a mining vehicle that was transporting explosive material for a mining company, a motorcycle and a third vehicle, which took place near an electrical transformer and led to the explosion”, indicated the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, it’s a statement.
By mid-afternoon, the authorities counted “a total of 17 people confirmed dead unfortunately, and 59 people injured,” added the minister. Among the injured, 42 were treated by health services and some were “in a critical condition,” added the Minister of Information.
All hospitals in the area were mobilized to care for people affected by the accident and an evacuation plan was activated to transport the critically injured to medical facilities in the capital, the government said.
“It was a black Thursday. So far, 500 houses have been impacted. Some have been completely destroyed by the explosion and others show cracks,” he told AFP overnight. Judge Sees Amedon, deputy coordinator of the National Organization for Disaster Management. “It’s almost like a ghost town now. Some houses are burned, others covered in rubble, and search and rescue operations are still underway”, he added.
The survivors of the event recounted scenes of desolation. Abena Mintah ran to the scene of the crash to see if she could help the victims. “The driver of the truck that was transporting explosives was running towards us to tell us to get out of the way and, minutes later, we heard a loud detonation,” he said. ”I felt dizzy and fell into some bushes. I managed to get up and I saw several dismembered bodies in the street”, explained the witness, with wounds on his feet and hands.
To prevent a second explosion, a team of explosives experts from the police and army have been deployed to examine the situation and apply security measures,” the Information Ministry statement said. They also ask the inhabitants to move away from the area and move to the surrounding villages. Schools and churches were left open at night to accommodate citizens.
In a message on Twitter in the afternoon, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, I’m sorry for what just happened. He said that it was “a truly sad, unfortunate and tragic event” and transferred his condolences to the families of the victims.
The deadly accidents linked to the mining sector are frequent in Ghana, although they are usually linked to the collapse of artisanal, often illegal, mines. In June nine people died in one of these places.
Ghana is the second largest gold producer on the continent., after South Africa. The country’s mining industry involves large global companies but also artisanal activities, many illegal.
With information from AFP