17 people have been confirmed dead following a huge explosion at Bogoso-Appiate in the Western Region.
This was confirmed in a statement issued by the Ministry of Information.
The statement also indicated that some 59 injured persons were rescued, bringing to 76 the number of persons known to have been affected so far.
“As at 17:00 hours, a total of seventeen (17) people have, sadly, been confirmed dead, and 59 injured persons had been rescued, bringing to 76 the number of persons known, so far, to have been affected by the tragedy.”
The statement also noted that out of the 59 injured persons, 42 are receiving treatment and some are in critical condition.
The Information Ministry further outlined some measures taken so far by the government to handle the situation.
“Most of the victims have been rescued and are on admission at various hospitals and clinics within the Bogoso Municipality. Upon the instructions of the President of the Republic, a National Emergency Response Mechanism was activated immediately. Personnel from the Police Service, Fire Service, National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Ghana Health Service, National Ambulance Service, the Municipal Authority, and residents have all been involved in providing support.”
“Additional personnel and resources have been dispatched to the community to support the response effort. An alternative route has been created to facilitate the movement of stranded vehicles plying that route. All hospitals within the vicinity are being used to treat injured persons, and an evacuation plan has been activated to move those in critical condition to medical facilities in Accra, so they can get the needed assistance,” the statement added.
To forestall a secondary explosion, government has deployed a joint team of police and military explosion experts to examine the situation and put in place the requisite measures.
Government also indicated that early reports show that several houses and structures in sections of the town have been destroyed, and plans have been put in place to ensure that stranded community members are catered for in the coming days.
“We would want to urge the public to remain calm and obtain regular updates from the national emergency response team. At 11:00am on Friday, the emergency response team will provide updates from the scene of the incident,” it added.
Government further commended the Police Service, Fire Service, National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Ghana Health Service, National Ambulance Service, the Municipal Authority, health professionals in the medical facilities within the vicinity, and local residents for their assistance so far.
It also expressed ‘deep’ condolences to the families of the deceased and sent best wishes to the injured for their speedy recovery.
It noted that President Akufo-Addo will soon visit Appiate to assess the effectiveness of the response effort.
Preliminary investigations by the police said a vehicle transporting explosives to a mining site collided with a motorcycle, resulting in the explosion.
Meanwhile, Chirano Gold Mines has confirmed that the truck that was involved in the explosion was destined for its site.
According to the mining company, the truck belongs to mining services contractor MAXAM.
Bogoso is a mining town in the Prestea-Huni Valley district of the Western Region.