Nyma E., journalist
Multiple people have been left dead or wounded in the western region of Ghana, after a truck carrying mining explosives crashed into a motorcycle and exploded on January 20.
The explosion occurred in the town of Apiate, between Bogoso and Bowdie. The mining truck was moving between two gold mines located in the cities of Tarkwa and Chirano. Footage posted just before the explosion shows people gathering towards the burning truck, and then the truck explodes. After the explosion, images and videos show large, dark clouds of smoke rising over the destroyed buildings while panicked residents call for help. The incident left a large crater on the earth next to the highway.
When emergency services arrived, they urged onlookers to evacuate the site, out of fear that another explosion may be possible. Emergency services also searched the rubbles created by the explosion, looking for trapped victims. Nearby towns are being asked to open their public spaces, such as schools and churches, the wounded and the survivors of the explosion.
The exact death toll is not yet known. However, it is feared that more than 50 people may have died from this accident.
Sadly, mining incidents are not a rare occurrence in Ghana or West Africa. In 2018, a roof tunnel collapse resulted in six deaths in a mine operated by a US company. In 2019, 16 people were killed at a gold mining site in northern Ghana. In 2021, three people died because of a mine collapse in southern Ghana.
The president of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, said in a tweet, “It is truly a sad, tragic, and unfortunate incident, and I extend, on behalf of Government, deep condolences to the families of the deceased, and I wish the injured a speedy recovery.”