Accra floods: More than 70 people reported dead after petrol station fire in Ghana’s capital city
Additional reporting by AP
From The Independent News
More than 70 people have been killed in a fire at a petrol station in Ghana’s capital city of Accra, its fire service has said.
Many had been seeking shelter due to torrential rain, a spokesman for the national fire brigade told JOYFM. 78 people are believed to have died.
Ghana National Fire Service spokesperson Prince Billy Anaglate said a dozen people were taken to hospital after the blast, an accident which has been linked to the current downpour.
Crews were still recovering bodies at the scene early on Thursday morning.
Graphic footage aired on national television showed corpses being piled into the back of a pickup truck and other bodies trapped amid the debris.
Neighboring buildings that had caught fire burned into the night as floodwaters around the site hampered recovery efforts.
The cause of the overnight explosion was not immediately known but neighbors said that many people had taken shelter at the station amid torrential rains and flooding.
Michael Plange, who lives a few blocks away, said many people were under a shed at the time of the explosion and became trapped.
Various reports from local media suggest there was little preparation for a “worst case scenario” for bad weather, despite Accra’s vulnerability to flooding.
One man told a local radio station that he had put his children on top of a wardrobe to get them away from the water coming into his home.