75 killed in Ghana gas station explosion

Accra (Ghana), June 4 (IANS) At least 75 people were killed in an explosion in a gas station in Ghana’s capital Accra even as torrential rains lashed the West African nation, an official said on Thursday.

The Goil Filling Station at Nkrumah Circle in Accra caught fire after the explosion on Wednesday night.

Several people who went to work on Wednesday night ended up in the morgue.

The 37 Military Hospital here has been inundated and says it cannot receive any more bodies.

“The hospital already had bodies in the morgue before last night’s accident and so, the authorities have decided they cannot any longer cope with more bodies at the morgue which is full,” Eric Aggrey-Quarshie, public affairs officer of the Ghana Armed Forces, told IANS.

The Ghana Fire Service (GFS) officials who worked throughout the night to bring the fire at the gas station under control say the exact toll cannot be known until later even though the figure is high.

“Some of our officers have counted 75 (bodies), others have counted 96. We cannot arrive at a figure now because we are still salvaging debris to see if we can find more bodies,” Bill Anaglate, public affairs officer of the GFS, said.

He said the fuel kept in underground tanks at the gas station flowed out of the station during the flooding and, following fire from a nearby house, exploded at the station.

President John Mahama, who toured parts of the city and the scene of the explosion, described the deaths as “catatrosphic” adding that, “steps will be taking to ensure that disastrous floods and accompanying deaths do not occur again”.

In some parts of the city, debris and abandoned cars have been carried away by rain water in large drains.

“My car is lost because l just abandoned it when l got into a flooded street on my way from work last night,” Jones Amartey, a businessman, said on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the ministry of education has issued a directive asking parents whose children were not sent to school on Thursday morning to keep them at home.

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