Appiatse Explosion: Explosives transporting firm to face sanctions if…
Chief Executive of the Africa Institute of Extractive, Dr. Toni Aubynn, says tougher sanctions could be taken against the firm that caused the Appiatse explosion if safety was comprised.
Dozens are reported dead while many injured in Appiatse, a town near Bogoso in the Western Region after a truck transporting explosives was involved in an accident.
Dr. Aubynn added that tougher punishment would be meted to the firm if found culpable.
“They have been very careful importing these explosives, I don’t know exactly what happened, why this occurred and why it occur at where it occurred. It is something that needs to be investigated and if there were short comings they must be brought to book.
“If it was just an accident, yes, it was terrible but it was not intended. But if it was an act of negligence, there must be some action”, he said.
Meanwhile, Chirano Gold Mines Limited has clarified that they are not directly involved in the explosion of the mining explosives at Appiatse which has claimed 17 lives and injured 59 others.
According to the company, they were neither the handlers nor transporters of the materials which caused the unfortunate incident.
Speaking in an interview, Communications Officer of the Chirano Gold Mines, Kwabena Owusu-Ampratwum, however, admitted that they were the recipients of the materials which were being supplied by one of their suppliers.
According to the Communications Officer, the transportation and handling of the materials are the responsibility of the suppliers and not the company.
“It wasn’t Chirano Mines that was transporting the explosives or handling the materials. It were goods that our suppliers were transporting to be supplied to us. It was one of our suppliers who was bringing the materials but unfortunately got involved in an accident. So the transportation and handling of the explosives were being done by the supplier,” Kwabena-Owusu Ampratwum explained.
Meanwhile, the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has assured that measures are being put in place to construct temporary housing facilities for all displaced residents of Bogoso-Appiatse.
He says the government has engaged the State Housing Corporation and mining companies in the area to provide an instant haven for the stranded community members in the coming days.
Dr. Bawumia said this when he led a government delegation to ascertain the state of affairs in the community after a vehicle carrying mining explosives exploded and reduced the whole settlement to ground zero.
“Government, on its part, is going to do everything to support the families and those who have been injured. We are also looking into how to make sure that all those who are injured are taken care of.”
“For the houses that have been destroyed, we are already beginning to think about how to rehabilitate and rebuild for the community. I have already instructed the State Housing Corporation and in consultation with the mining companies here to construct temporary housing facilities for those who have been displaced,” he assured.
A preliminary investigation by the Police has revealed that “a mining explosive vehicle moving from Tarkwa to Chirano mines collided with a motorcycle resulting in the explosion.”
The blast, which was accompanied by a plume of smoke, spread from the place of impact and razed residential and commercial structures to the ground.
“A major disaster befell us yesterday, not only for the community here in Appiatse [but] it befell the whole of Ghana and that is why the President Nana Akufo-Addo asked me to lead this government delegation to come and assess the situation and see what we are going to do for the people.”
“I have received briefings from the Police, the Fire Service, NADMO and the Chief. On behalf of the President and the government, we wish to express our deepest condolences to those who sadly lost their lives from this very sad incident,” the Vice President said while briefing the community members.
Meanwhile, survivors of the unfortunate incident have been rendered homeless. They have since been relocated to a makeshift camp at the Bogoso St. Michael Parish Hall.
Government has directed the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) to immediately provide rapid relief items to the residents.