Former President John Mahama has urged security and emergency services to work assiduously to save lives of victims of an explosion at Apiate near Bogoso in the Western Region.
A DAF vehicle with registration number WR 2252-18 transporting explosives from the MAXAM Company, Tarkwa, to Chirano Gold Mines collided with a motorcycle and shattered in the farming community, leaving at least 17 people dead and injuring dozens.
A statement released last night by Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah indicated that 59 had been injured when a rescue team got to the crime scene.
In a statement, Mahama, the 2020 flagbearer of the largest opposition party, said the day was a sad one for the country and urged Ghanaians to pray for the victims.
“A truly sad day for Ghana!,” he said on his Facebook page. “My deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the unfortunate disaster at Appiatse, in the Bogoso District of the Western Region this afternoon.”
“Let’s pray for the speedy recovery of the injured, as we also urge the security and emergency services to continue to work assiduously towards preventing further spread, alleviate the damage and suffering in the affected communities,” he added.
Assuring the people of the NDC’s support, the former president said, “To the chiefs and people in the affected areas, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the country stand with you, in this time of grief.”
Videos from the scene posted on social media on Thursday and Friday showed a large blast area in Apiate, with dozens of buildings reduced to piles of wood, brick, and twisted metal.
Seji Saji Amedonu, deputy director-general of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), said 500 buildings had been destroyed.
Out of that figure, 17 people have died while 59 injured persons have so far been rescued but the number is likely to rise as officials keep on with their rescue operations.
Police have confirmed that a portion of the Bogoso-Wassa Akropong road has been damaged.
Buildings extending meters away from the scene of the accident are also said to have been impacted to different degrees – whiles some developed cracks, others had their windows shattered.
“Extensive damage was caused to a nearby ECG transformer,” a Police report noted.
The Police said Crime Scene Intelligence and CID Operations teams led by Deputy Regional Commander DCOP Adusah-Poku assisted by Regional Crime Officer C/SUPT Ebenezer Boryor and Supt. Saviour Ahiamadi have been deployed to the scene of the incident.
Meanwhile, Vice President Dr Mahamadu Bawumia has arrived at the village to commiserate with the victims and their families.