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21 Jan, 2022 11:35

17 dead as rural community flattened

A lorry carrying explosives collided with a motorcycle, triggering the blast
17 dead as rural community flattened

On Thursday, a motorcycle collided with a truck carrying explosives to a gold mine in the rural settlement of Apiate, in western Ghana, the government said on Friday. The collision set off a blast which flattened a rural town.

Police stated that the motorcycle had fallen under a truck which was on route to the Chirano gold mine, run by Toronto-based Kinross Gold Corporation (K.TO). Kinross said it was monitoring the rescue effort.

In footage shared online, piles of timber can be seen where buildings used to stand. There also appears to be a huge crater at the site of the explosion. Onlookers can be seen peering into the hole. 

The government said that at least 17 people have died following the blast and that 59 were injured. Those in a critical condition were being transported to the capital, Accra, for treatment. Rescue efforts were still under way, the government added.

Seji Saji Amedonu, deputy director general of the National Disaster Management Organisation, added that some 500 buildings were destroyed.

In a statement, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources said it was investigating the incident, assessing the cause of the blast and whether regulations on the transportation of explosives were followed.