Many Feared Dead After Mining Vehicle Carrying Explosives Hit Motorcycle in Ghana

Multiple people are feared dead in a “huge explosion” caused by a motorcycle colliding with a vehicle carrying mining explosives near a small town in western Ghana on Jan. 20.

According to the Ghana Police Service, a vehicle  carrying explosives was moving from Tarkwa to Chirano mines when it collided with a motorcycle at the small, residential town of Apiate, resulting in the blast.

“The Police and other emergency service providers have activated a full emergency recovery exercise. We urge all to remain calm as we manage this unfortunate situation,” the police said in a statement on Facebook.

Witness Kwadwo Bempah told CNN that nearly every building in the area collapsed, trapping people and animals under the rubble.

The dead were “all around,” Bempah said.

Police have not confirmed the number of casualties from the blast.

Most of the victims have been rescued and transported to hospitals in nearby Bogoso Municipality, the police said, without provide details on the condition of the victims.

The police advised the public to move out of the area to nearby towns for their safety amid the ongoing recovery efforts.

The police also appealed to nearby towns to open up their classrooms and churches to accommodate surviving victims.

Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo described the incident as “truly sad, unfortunate, and tragic.”

Akufo-Addo said on Twitter that the police, the military, and the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) are coordinating efforts to contain the situation.

“I have also instructed NADMO to see to it that rapid relief is brought to residents of the town. Government will spare no effort to ensure a rapid return to a situation of normalcy for residents of Apiate,” Akufo-Addo said.

Chirano Gold Mines Press Officer Kwabena Owusu-Ampratwum said that they “are closely monitoring the situation and the rescue efforts.”

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