73 Dead After Ghana Fuel Station Explosion
Reported from VOA News
An explosion at a gas station in Ghana’s capital has killed at least 73 people who had gathered for shelter during torrential rains.
Ghanaian officials confirmed the accident Thursday. Reports from the scene said the explosion and resulting fire took place at a gas station and spread to nearby buildings near the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in central Accra.
The cause of the explosion is still unclear.
Officials say local hospitals have taken as many bodies as they can accommodate. The search for more victims continues, and officials have warned that the death toll is likely to rise.Fire, police, armed forces, and emergency services personnel are at the site to conduct rescue operations. A crowd has gathered at the site, despite an official request that they stay away.
Television footage and photos of the accident site show graphic images of charred bodies and vehicles, and churning waters in nearby streets.
President John Mahama has visited the scene of the accident, along with the mayor of Accra and a member of parliament. The president told reporters the loss of life is “catastrophic” and vowed such an incident will not be repeated.
Accra has suffered two days of heavy rains that have flooded homes, caused power outages, and left some roads impassable. Officials said the toll from the accident is high because people had gathered at the fuel station and nearby buildings to escape the floods. The flooding has also hampered rescue operations.