According to authorities, at least 17 persons were killed in a massive explosion in a mining town in south-western Ghana. According to police, a vehicle transporting explosives to a gold mine collided with a motorcycle near the village of Bogoso.
Images posted by local media showed a massive cloud of black smoke rising over crushed buildings and strewn rubble as inhabitants yelled for aid.
Victims’ mangled bodies were depicted in graphic videos. A big crater may also be observed alongside a road. “It’s almost like a ghost town now,” Sedzi Sadzi Amedonu, a top official with the country’s disaster management agency, told the AFP news agency.
He stated that around 500 residences were harmed – some of which were entirely demolished – in Appiatse, which is located between Bogoso and the village of Bawdie.
At least 59 individuals were hurt, with several in serious condition, according to Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah.
As rescue crews search through the wreckage of the houses, there is concern that the number of verified dead may grow.
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo announced that the military had joined emergency measures to assist “contain the situation” and that “rapid relief” was being sent to locals. “It is a truly sad, unfortunate and tragic incident,” he wrote on Twitter.
According to the Police, its employees have assumed command of the situation, providing security to allow emergency workers such as the GNFS, NADMO, and the National Ambulance Service to manage it.
Meanwhile, people in the impacted region have been asked to relocate to other towns for their own safety while recovery works are carried out.
The police have also asked surrounding municipalities to make schools and churches accessible for the surviving victims.
Rescue attempts were underway, and residents were advised to leave the area. Police asked neighbouring communities to “open up their classrooms, churches etc to accommodate surviving victims” “We continue to urge the public to remain calm as we manage the situation.”
According to the administration, a team of police and army explosion specialists was dispatched to “avoid a second explosion” and secure the situation.
The truck was hauling explosives to the Chirano gold mine, approximately 140 kilometers (90 miles) from the blast site, when it was hit by a motorcycle, according to authorities.
This allegedly ignited a fire, which resulted in the explosion. The truck driver and the police officer who escorted him onboard are said to have survived, but the motorbike rider was slain.
The incident has sparked concerns about the safety of explosives being moved on Ghana’s crowded roadways. Gold is one of Ghana’s most important exports.