At least 17 people were killed and 59 injured in western Ghana on Thursday. by the strong explosion that caused the crash of a truck transporting explosives for a mine with other vehicles, the Ghanaian government reported this morning.
In a statement, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah confirmed that the accident, which occurred in the town of Apiate, involved a truck, a motorcycle and a third vehicle near an electricity transformer.
The collision caused a huge explosion that practically devastated the town, where dozens of buildings were reduced to rubble.
Of the 59 injured, the minister specified, 42 are receiving treatment in hospitals and some are in “critical condition.”
This Thursday night, the president of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, already announced that the event “resulted in loss of life and destruction of property of the residents”.
“The Government will spare no effort to guarantee a rapid return to normality for the inhabitants of Apiate,” stressed the head of state of this West African country.
“This is a truly sad, unfortunate and tragic incident, and on behalf of the government I express my deepest condolences to the families of those who died, and wish a speedy recovery to those who were injured,” Akufo-Addo added.
The truck was en route to the Chirano mine, owned by a Canada-based company, from Tarkwa, home to one of the world’s largest gold mines.
Firefighters rushed to the scene of the explosion to put out the fire, while several wounded were taken to hospitals in this mining area.
“(The police officers) have taken charge of the situation, providing security to the emergency workers,” the police said in a statement, which also urged residents to remain calm and move away from the site of the incident.
Police also announced launching a “complete emergency” operation before the “great” explosion registered in the place.
“The population of surrounding areas of to leave the surrounding towns for their safety, while the recovery operation is underway, “said the security body.
The security forces also they asked nearby towns to open the doors of their schools and churches to help the wounded.
The municipal executive director where the incident occurred, Isaac Dsamani, regretted that some of the victims lost their lives after not paying attention to the instructions of the driver of the vehicle, who would have urged them to move away from it.
“The driver got out and was telling people to run away, but some people were trying to find out what was going on there,” the Ghanaian official said.
According to preliminary information collected by the local newspaper ‘Daily Graphic’, the incident is feared to have left “dozens” dead.
(With information from Europa Press and EFE)
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