At least 17 people have been confirmed dead after Thursday afternoon’s huge explosion at Appiate 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 critical condition.
A vehicle carrying mining explosives that was traveling from Tarkwa to Chirano collided with a motorcycle at Apiate.
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.
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.
A police situational report said the accident happened at about 1:25pm.
According to the report, 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 motorcycle rider from the opposite direction ran under the van carrying the explosives.
The motorcycle caught fire, ignited the van which burst into flames.
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.
The driver sustained a deep cut on the head and was rushed to the Tarkwa Government Hospital.
The Police escort escaped unhurt, while the motorbike rider is feared dead.
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.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed his condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives in the explosion and has directed the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) to step-up efforts to send relief to residents of the town.
In a post shared on his social media pages, President Akufo-Addo said the Police, Armed Forces, and NADMO were coordinating efforts to contain the aftermath of the deadly explosion.
He assured the victims and the communities affected that government will spare no effort to ensure a rapid return to a situation of normalcy for residents of ApiateApiate, a community of about 500 houses.
The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah giving details of govt’s initial response said an alternative route has been created to facilitate the movement of stranded vehicles plying that route, adding that 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.