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Appiatse explosion occurred 140km from our site – Chirano Gold Mines

Chirano Gold Mines, a subsidiary of Canada-based gold and silver mining firm Kinross Gold Corporation, has confirmed that the truck involved in Thursday’s devastating explosion at Appiatse, near Bogoso, was en route to its site.

According to the mining company, the truck belongs to the mining services contractor, MAXAM.‬

‪“The vehicle was heading to Chirano, approximately 140 kilometres away from the site during the incident,” the company said in a statement.‬

The company has said that it is “closely monitoring the situation and the rescue efforts.”

Chirano Gold Mine is an underground and open pit gold mine within the Bibiani gold belt. It is 90% owned by  Kinross Gold Corporation, while the government of Ghana has a 10% carried interest.

Kinross Gold acquired the mine on 17 September 2010 through a US$7.1 billion takeover of Red Back Mining.

 

So far, thirteen have been confirmed dead and 59 others injured as of 12 noon on Friday, following the massive explosion in the mining community located in the Western Region.

Additionally, 500 homes and 139 families were affected by the tragic incident.

The latest details from Dr Bawumia follow an earlier communication from Information Minister Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah who placed the death toll at 17.

So far, 42 are receiving treatment, with the others in critical condition.

Body parts of several deceased persons strewed along some roads while buildings were reduced to rubbles.

A preliminary investigation by the Ghana Police Service revealed that a DAF truck, with registration number WR 2252-18, was conveying explosive material from MAXAM Company, Tarkwa, to Chirano Gold Mines in the Western North Region.

 

A motorcycle rider from the opposite direction ran under the van when it got to a section of the road between Bogoso and Bawdie.

The motorcycle caught fire and ignited the van, which exploded into flames.

An ECG transformer in close range was also destroyed in the process.

The explosion occurred at about 1:30 pm on 20 January 2022 and left a crater in the middle of the town.

Rescued victims are on admission at various hospitals and clinics within the Bogoso Municipality.

Consequently, a National Emergency Response Mechanism has been activated with personnel from the Police Service, Fire Service, National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Ghana Health Service, National Ambulance Service, the Municipal Authority, and residents involved in providing support.

Mr Oppong-Nkrumah explained that additional personnel and resources had been dispatched to the community to support the response effort.

An alternative route has been created to facilitate the movement of stranded vehicles plying that route.

All hospitals within the vicinity are being used to treat injured persons, and an evacuation plan has been activated to move those in critical condition to medical facilities in Accra so they can get the needed assistance.

“To forestall a secondary explosion, a joint team of police and military explosion experts has been deployed to examine the situation and put in place the requisite measures.

“Early reports indicate that several houses and structures in sections of the town have been destroyed and plans have been put in place to ensure that stranded community members are catered for in the coming days”.

Mr Oppong-Nkrumah added that President Akufo-Addo would visit Appiatse to assess the effectiveness of the response effort.

Police said in a statement that they “have taken charge of the situation providing security to enable the emergency workers including the Ghana National Fire Service, NADMO and the Ambulance Service to manage the situation”.

The law enforcement agency has advised persons “to move out of the area to nearby towns for their safety while recovery efforts are underway”.

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