Tuesday 27 September 2016

100 feared dead after massive explosion in Ghana

Francis Kokutse in Accra

Published 05/06/2015 | 02:30

Rescue workers carry the remains, of a person onto the back of a truck after being killed in a gas station explosion in Accra, Ghana. Photo: AP
Rescue workers carry the remains, of a person onto the back of a truck after being killed in a gas station explosion in Accra, Ghana. Photo: AP
Firefighters spray water over the remaining structure of a gas station after it exploded in Accra, Ghana, Thursday, June 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Christian Thompson)
The remains of people killed in a gas station explosion are loaded onto a truck in Accra, Ghana, Thursday, June 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Christian Thompson)
The remaining structure of a gas station after it exploded in Accra, Ghana, Thursday, June 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Christian Thompson)
Rescue workers carry a corpse from the remains of a petrol station that exploded overnight killing around 90 people in Accra, Ghana, June 4, 2015. REUTERS/Matthew Mpoke Bigg
A fire services officer walks at the wreckage of a gas station that exploded overnight killing around 90 people in Accra, Ghana, June 4, 2015. REUTERS/Matthew Mpoke Bigg
Rescue workers carry a corpse from the remains of a petrol station that exploded overnight killing around 90 people in Accra, Ghana, June 4, 2015. REUTERS/Matthew Mpoke Bigg
Cars are piled up after being washed away after heavy rain near a gas station explosion in Accra, Ghana, Thursday, June 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Christian Thompson)
Ghana security personnel stand near the gas station that exploded in Accra, Ghana, Thursday, June 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Christian Thompson)
A car lies in a water trench that washed away after heavy rain near a gas station explosion in Accra, Ghana, Thursday, June 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Christian Thompson)
Rescue workers carry the remains, of a person a killed in a gas station explosion in Accra, Ghana, Thursday, June 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Christian Thompson)
Firefighters spray water over the smoldering remains a gas station following an explosion in Accra, Ghana, Thursday, June 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Christian Thompson)
Rescue workers carry a corpse from the remains of a petrol station that exploded overnight killing around 90 people in Accra, Ghana, June 4, 2015. REUTERS/Matthew Mpoke Bigg
Rescue workers carry a corpse to a truck from the remains of a petrol station that exploded overnight killing around 90 people in Accra, Ghana, June 4, 2015. REUTERS/Matthew Mpoke Bigg
A soldier stands guard at the wreckage of a petrol station that exploded overnight killing around 90 people in Accra, Ghana, June 4, 2015. REUTERS/Matthew Mpoke Bigg
A soldier stands guard at the wreckage of a petrol station that exploded overnight killing around 90 people in Accra, Ghana, June 4, 2015. REUTERS/Matthew Mpoke Bigg
The charred wreckage of a minivan is seen at a gas station that exploded overnight killing around 90 people in Accra, Ghana, June 4, 2015. REUTERS/Matthew Mpoke Bigg

UP TO 100 people are feared dead after flooding in Ghana's capital Accra swept stored fuel into a nearby fire, setting off a huge explosion at a gas station.

  • Go To

The blast took place as dozens of people attempted to shelter at the gas station and in nearby shops in centre of the city to escape the torrential rains. The disaster raised new concerns over the city's inadequate infrastructure.

TV footage showed corpses being piled into the back of a pick-up truck and other charred bodies amid the debris. Floodwaters around the site hampered rescue and recovery efforts.

Officials at the nearby 37 Military Hospital said its morgue had reached capacity.

President John Dramani Mahama visited the scene yesterday, calling the death toll "catastrophic" and offering condolences to families of the victims.

"Steps will be taken to ensure that disastrous floods and their attendant deaths do not occur again," he said.

Explosion

Michael Plange, who lives a few blocks away, said many people had taken shelter under a shed at the station from the rain and were hit by the explosion.

The flooding "caused the diesel and petrol to flow away from the gas station and a fire from a nearby house led to the explosion," said Billy Anaglate, spokesman for Ghana's national fire service.

In addition to the dead at the gas station, local media reported that many drowned in various parts of the city following two days of torrential rains. The combined death toll from the explosion and flooding is expected to rise.

The explosion is likely to intensify criticism of the government's failure to improve the infrastructure. Though the downpours this week have been especially bad, heavy rains in June are not unusual yet drainage systems in Accra remain inadequate.

Throughout Accra, drivers caught in the flooding abandoned their cars on the road. The Education Ministry instructed all children who were not already at school Thursday morning to stay home.

The city is also grappling with an energy crisis resulting in blackouts lasting for as long as 48 hours in recent years.

Irish Independent

Read More

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in World News