Mining truck explosion kills more than a dozen people in Ghana
According to numerous published reports, at least 13 people were killed when a motorcycle collided with a truck carrying explosives that were to be used at a gold mine in western Ghana.
The collision caused a massive explosion that flattened buildings in the town of Apiate, the government said.
As rescuers combed the site for survivors, videos posted on local media showed hundreds of buildings reduced to piles of wood, rubble and twisted metal, and dead bodies crumpled on the ground surrounded by debris.
A photo shared by a local politician showed a yawning crater at the epicentre of the blast, onlookers peering down from its rim.
Ghana, one of the continent’s top producers of gold, is home to several major excavation sites. Companies based in the United States, Australia, South Africa and Canada all run gold mines in the nation. The truck that exploded was on its way to a mine owned by Canadian firm Kinross, a spokesperson confirmed to reporters.
The Washington Post reported that after the incident, the truck driver jumped out and warned people to run, Dsamani said. Some of the victims had gathered to inspect the collision. Many had been in their homes.
Seji Saji Amedonu, deputy director general of the National Disaster Management Organization said around 500 buildings were destroyed and that rescue efforts were still under way.
The blast occurred in Apiate, a settlement between the towns of Bogoso and Bawdie, when a motorcycle fell under a truck owned by a company called Maxam that was transporting explosives to the Chirano gold mine, run by Toronto-based Kinross Gold Corporation, police said.
Kinross confirmed the incident and said it was monitoring the situation and rescue efforts. Maxam could not be reached for comment.
The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is investigating the cause of the blast and whether the companies involved followed regulations covering transportation of explosives, it said in a statement.
Survivors in critical condition are being evacuated to medical facilities in the capital Accra, the government said.
Photo courtesy of Reuters.