At least 17 people have been confirmed dead after Thursday afternoon’s huge explosion at Appiatse in the Bogoso area of the Western Region.
A statement issued by the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said at least 59 people were injured, some of whom were in a critical condition.
A vehicle carrying mining explosives which was traveling from Tarkwa to Chirano collided with a motorcycle at Appiatse near Bogoso.
Images from the accident scene showed a large plume of black smoke rising above destroyed buildings and scattered debris as residents called for help.
Graphic videos showed mutilated bodies of victims. A large crater can also be seen beside a road.
The Ghana Police Service and other emergency service providers have activated a full emergency recovery exercise after the huge explosion on Thursday afternoon (January 20, 2022).
Videos emerging from the scene of the accident show dismembered bodies scattered on the road.
Many buildings have also collapsed in the area trapping some people.
The explosion reportedly went very far causing extensive damage in the area.
Police situational report
A police situational report said the accident happened at about 1:25pm.
A policeman, D/Cpl Isaac Kamanim of Firearms Unit/Tarkwa was escorting explosives from MAXAM Company, Tarkwa, in a DAF van with registration number WR 2252-18 driven by Alfred Pappoe to Chirano Gold Mines in the Western North Region.
At a section of the road between Bogoso and Bawdie, a motor cycle rider from the opposite direction ran under the van carrying the explosives.
The motor cycle caught fire, ignited the van which burst into flames and exploded.
The driver sustained deep cut on the head and was rushed to the Tarkwa Government Hospital.
The Police escort escaped unhurt.
The motor bike rider is feared dead.
An extensive damage was caused to a nearby ECG transformer.
Also a number of nearby buildings were razed down, that portion of the road was damaged, some vehicles plying that road were damaged, passengers and inhabitants sustained varying degrees of injuries.
The main road linking Tarkwa and Ayamfuri has been blocked momentarily with no vehicle crossing from each side, Graphic Online’s Western Regional correspondent, Kobla Dotsey Aklorbortu reports.
Some vehicles have been torn into pieces, Aklorbortu said.
About 100 vehicles had their windscreen shattered.
What caused the accident?
The driver of the transporting vehicle, upon reaching the area, collided with a motorcycle.
After stepping out, the driver saw fire in the vehicle and rushed to alert people in the community to run to safety.
The fire escalated and the explosives in the vehicle detonated killing many and causing extensive damage.
According to our reporter, many people have also sustained severe injuries.
President Akufo-Addo’s reaction
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo commenting on the accident said “I have just received a briefing on the circumstances that led to an explosion in Apiate near Bogoso, in the Western Region, resulting in the loss of lives and the destruction of properties belonging to residents.”
“It is a truly sad, unfortunate and tragic incident, and I extend, on behalf of Government, deep condolences to the families of the deceased, and I wish the injured a speedy recovery.”
“The Police, Armed Forces and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) are co-ordinating efforts to contain the situation, and I have also instructed NADMO to see to it that rapid relief is brought to residents of the town.
“Government will spare no effort to ensure a rapid return to a situation of normalcy for residents of Apiate.”
Source: Graphic Online