Gas explosion rocks Ghana's capital Accra, causing fatalities: government

# 02:24
8 October 2017

A natural gas station in Ghana’s capital Accra exploded on Saturday evening, killing an unknown number of people, a government official said, APA reports quoting Reuters.


“Unfortunately there are some fatalities and we are working to have the numbers,” Deputy Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah told a local radio station. “There are quite a number also injured.”


He said the initial blaze was largely under control and that about 200 police officers had deployed to the scene.


The explosion at around 7:30 p.m. local time (1930 GMT) began at a state-owned GOIL liquefied natural gas station and spread to a Total petrol station across the street at the city’s Atomic Junction, a Reuters witness said.


Frightened residents ran from the explosion, which sent a giant fireball high into the sky above the city, and at least six fire trucks and several ambulances were deployed to the scene.


An explosion at a petrol station in Accra in 2015 killed around 100 who had sought shelter nearby from flooding in the country’s worst disaster in more than a decade.


Infrastructure in Accra, a city of roughly 7 million people, has failed to keep pace with population growth after years of rapid economic expansion.


A small unit on a tower building at Ghana’s Parliament also caught fire in July, although the blaze did not cause major damage.