8Killed, Several Missing
…After Explosion At Quarry Site In Shama
A deadly Ammonia nitrate explosion that occurred over the weekend at a quarry site at Anto Aboso in the Shama District of the Western Region has killed at least eight persons, with several others still missing.
As at the time of going to press yesterday, media reports said three Ghanaians and five Chinese nationals had been confirmed dead, and the injured sent to various hospitals for treatment, following the incident that happened on Sunday dawn, at about 00:30 GMT.
The disaster, said to have happened at the premises of the company, G-Omini Quarry, operated by some Chinese nationals, resulted in workers – both Ghanaian and Chinese – who were for night shift, reportedly burnt beyond recognition. Reports also revealed that 22 persons were on the company’s premises when the explosion occurred.
Dismembered bodies suspected to be that of the Chinese nationals were scattered at the scene, 3news.com reports.
Rescue efforts by the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), with support of other security agencies are underway to rescue those missing and also assess the extent of damage.
Other reports indicate that the explosives, which were allegedly being kept at an unstructured storage without permit, detonated and killed the workers.
According to Graphic Online report, the company was allegedly storing the explosives illegally without the permission of the Minerals Commission, contrary to the law governing the acquisition, storage and use of explosives.
The report indicates that a source close to the company said, the explosion did not occur in the process of blasting, but rather the yet-to-be-used explosives kept in a room which is not a structured storage explosive magazine.
It said the casualties were workers who were on a night shift and were busy going about their routine activities at that time of the explosion.
District NADMO Speaks
Five injured persons are currently receiving treatment at the hospital, 10 others were said to have escaped unhurt, while the rest are unaccounted for.
“Four persons have been found dead. They are at the mortuary at the moment. Three blacks and one white lady. The other four Chinese cannot be found. We are trying to get an excavator to find out if many have been trapped,” the Shama District Officer of NADMO, Emmanual Nyan, told Citi News.
There was an ammonia nitrate explosive explosion around 10pm on Saturday, September 9, 2023, at a quarry site operated by some Chinese at Anto-Aboso in the Shama District of the Western Region.
Emmanuel Owuewie, the Assemblyman for Anto-Aboso, who lives close to the quarry site, told Citi News that he was in his room when his ceiling came crashing on him.
Officers from the Fire Service, NADMO and other security agencies are currently on the site, helping with rescue efforts.
The latest explosion comes on the back of a similar incident that occurred at Appiate in the same region.
The Appiate explosion happened on January 20, 2022, after a truck carrying explosives owned by Maxam Limited got involved in an accident resulting in the explosion.
The Appiate disaster was one that destroyed a whole community. 14 persons lost their lives, while hundreds sustained varying degrees of injury.
A committee was inaugurated to probe the disaster. It subsequently presented its report to the government.
The government later fined Maxam company, which was responsible for transporting the explosives through its subcontractors $6million.