Chirano Gold Mines, the mining company whose explosives blew up at Apiati in the Western Region, says the company had no control over the chemicals being transported.
Kwabena Owusu-Ampratwum, the communication officer for the mining company told Prince Minkah on Dwaboase on TV XYZ Friday morning that Chirano Gold Mines order explosives from MAXAM, a company that offers blasting solutions to mining and query firms, but the safety protocols are not ensured by the mining company.
A DAF vehicle with registration number WR 2252-18 transporting explosives from the MAXAM Company, Tarkwa, to Chirano Gold Mines collided with a motorcycle and shattered in the village near Bogoso, leaving at least 17 people dead and injuring dozens.
Videos from the scene posted on social media on Thursday showed a large blast area in Apiate, with dozens of buildings reduced to piles of wood, brick and twisted metal.
“A total of 17 people have unfortunately been confirmed dead, and 59 injured people have been rescued,” Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said in a statement released last night.
Seji Saji Amedonu, deputy director-general of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), said 500 buildings had been destroyed.
Owusu-Ampratwum said the mining company was worried about the accident and is assisting police to investigate the matter.
“The truck is not for Chirano Mining,” he said. “We, as a company, don’t have any control over the explosives while in transit.”
“All the regulations and protocols are followed when the explosive gets to our mining site, however when it is in transit, we have no control over it,” he clarified in Akan.
The government through the Ministry of Information has confirmed via a statement that the casualty figure stands at 76.
Out of that figure, 17 people have died while 59 injured persons have so far been rescued but the number is likely to rise as officials keep on with their rescue operations.
Police have confirmed that a portion of the Bogoso-Wassa Akropong road has been damaged.
Buildings extending meters away from the scene of the accident are also said to have been impacted to different degrees – whiles some developed cracks, others had their windows shattered.
“Extensive damage was caused to a nearby ECG transformer,” a Police report noted.
The Police said Crime Scene Intelligence and CID Operations teams led by Deputy Regional Commander DCOP Adusah-Poku assisted by Regional Crime Officer C/SUPT Ebenezer Boryor and Supt. Saviour Ahiamadi have been deployed to the scene of the incident.