By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
ACCRA (Worthy News) – Rescue workers struggled to find survivors Friday as at least 13 people died and scores were injured in western Ghana after a mining truck carrying explosives collided with a motorcycle, witnesses and authorities said.
The explosion set off a blast that ruined Apiate, is a settlement about 200 kilometers (130 miles) west of the capital Accra.
Besides those who died, some 60 people were reportedly injured in the explosion. Kwadwo Bempah, who worked in the area and heard the blast, said, “nearly every building had collapsed, trapping people and animals under rubble.”
Thursday’s blast left a crater roughly 20 meters (66 feet) wide. Doors and roofs were blown off other buildings, witnesses said.
Wood, rubble, and metal roof sheets littered the area following the disaster, electricity lines dangled, and smoke rose from small fires dotted throughout an apocalyptic landscape.
Kwadwo Bempah, who worked in the area and heard the explosion, said, “nearly every building there had collapsed, trapping people and animals under rubble.”
People who had heard the blast but were not hurt stood at the edge of the yawning hole left in the earth by the explosion as the extent of the tragedy became clear, footage showed.
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo offered his condolences to the families of those who had died in what he called a “truly sad, unfortunate and tragic incident.”
The president said that emergency services staff were trying to contain the incident and bring “rapid relief” to the residents of the devastated town.
The explosion came less than three months after a similar tragedy in nearby Sierra Leone in which at least 98 people were killed when a fuel tanker exploded. That disaster put the West African nation’s health system under severe strain.
Mining accidents are a recurring problem in Ghana, one of Africa’s largest gold producers, according to experts.
In 2019, 16 people were reportedly killed at a gold mining site in northern Ghana, and in April 2018, six people died after the roof of a tunnel collapsed at a mine operated by the U.S.-based mining firm Newmont.
Last year, three workers died in a mine collapse in southern Ghana. There have also been many fatal gold mining accidents in other countries in West Africa, where poverty often makes it difficult for survivors to receive adequate medical attention.
However, Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo pledged that the government would “spare no effort to ensure a rapid return to a situation of normalcy for residents of Apiate.”
If you are interested in articles produced by Worthy News, please check out our FREE sydication service available to churches or online Christian ministries. To find out more, visit Worthy Plugins.