About 20 vehicles were burnt to ashes by the deadly gas explosion that caught residents of Atomic Junction, near Madina in Accra, pants down.
The fire spread to an adjacent fuel station a few minutes later, resulting in a second explosion. The two blasts sent a giant fireball high into the night sky, turning it into what looked like a bright daylight.
Students of the University of Ghana and Legon PRESEC also were said to have fled their campuses and hostels for their lives. The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) quickly sent about six fire tenders to the scene and about 200 police officers were also sent there to maintain law and order.
Seven people have been confirmed dead following the incident that occurred at a gas filling station last Saturday.
Two of the deceased persons were reportedly knocked down by a speeding vehicle during the melee, as residents were fleeing for safety, some of them naked.
Over 132 other persons were injured as a result of the inferno, out of which 64 have been treated and discharged and 68 injured persons, including a fire officer at the Police Hospital, are still receiving treatment. Two others are in critical condition at the Intensive Care Unit of the 37 Military Hospital.
Major Richard Okyere Mintah, the Administrative Officer at the 37 Military Hospital, called for resources and help from institutions, individuals and philanthropists to enable the health facility to offer adequate care to the victims.
He said burnt cases take a long time to heal and therefore, it had become a burden and an expensive venture to the hospital, hence the need for the support.
The victims are receiving treatment at the 37 Military, Ridge, Legon and Korle-Bu Teaching Hospitals. Major Richard Okyere Mintah said the 37 Military Hospital had two patients in the intensive care unit, two in Allied Ward, five treated and discharged, 28 stable but with trauma and three deaths.
Dr Emmanuel Srofenyoh, Acting Medical Director at the Ridge Hospital, said the facility had so far received 23 victims with three deaths, adding that most of them were on oxygen.
Vida Nyiddah, the Administrative Manager, Legon Hospital, said they received 47 casualties yesterday but many had been discharged. The authorities at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital said only one patient had been referred there at the time, according to GNA report.
The latest gas explosion brings to eight the number of gas explosions recorded within the last three years across the country.
The deadliest was recorded on June 3, 2015 in Accra when 159 people, who were seeking shelter at the GOIL Filling Station at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, died in an explosion after a heavy downpour had caused massive floods.
President Nana Akufo-Addo is ‘devastated’ about the current incident.
The president, who is currently in the Northern Region, expressed his “deepest condolences to the bereaved families and wished the “injured ones speedy recovery.”
In a tweet on social media platform – Twitter – the president added, “Government is resolved, now more than ever to ensure such an incident does not occur again.”
Former President Jerry John Rawlings also tweeted, “Another sad day for city dwelling on account of the congestion, irresponsibility and dangers we’ve brought to city life. My deep sympathies to all those affected. Time to implement effective preventive measures. Life is too precious.”
In the midst of the chaos, where many people were running for their lives, others saw the perfect opportunity to make some gains.
A young man, who is still looking for the whereabouts of his car, said he came out of the car and run for his life as the fire was approaching him.
He could, however, not find his car when he returned and suspected it had been stolen.
The police have also arrested some people who attempted to take advantage of the situation to rob others.
Source: Daily Guide
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