Appiatse Explosion: We’ll punish those found culpable – Jinapor
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Jinapor, has said those found culpable for the explosion at Appiatse, a town between Bogoso and Bawdie in the Western Region, will be punished.
“People have to answer for their commissions and omissions. I think it is that straightforward because we all have respective responsibilities and duties to perform. If at any stage, we find out that any one of us hasn’t performed our duty correctly and it occasioned this kind of loss, I believe that the honourable thing to do is for us to face the ramifications of our actions,” he said.
Thirteen lives were lost, while 59 others sustained various degrees of injury following a massive explosion on Thursday [20 January 2022] in the mining community.
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.
Following the incident, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has launched investigations into the circumstances that led to the blast.
“The investigation will, among others, help the government to determine whether the regulations covering the transportation of explosives were complied with and also what led to the unfortunate tragedy,” a statement issued by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources on Thursday, 20 January 2022, said.
The ministry launched the investigations through the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission.
The ministry added that the government is determined to assist a “return to a situation of normalcy for the residents” as quickly as practicable.
Meanwhile, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has described the explosion as a “truly sad, unfortunate and tragic incident.”
In a message of condolence to the people of Appiatse on Twitter, President Akufo-Addo said: “The Police, Armed Forces and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) are coordinating efforts to contain the situation, and I have also instructed NADMO to see to it that rapid relief is brought to residents of the town.”.
He further assured the people of the government’s support to restore Appiatse to normalcy.
The “government will spare no effort to ensure a rapid return to a situation of normalcy for residents of Appiatse,” the President said.
Apart from the deaths and injuries, the explosion destroyed several properties.
In a related development, the Communication Director at Chirano Gold Mines, Kwabena Owusu Ampratwum, has commiserated with the people and announced that the company was committed to providing relief.
“We are going to support the National Disaster Management Organization. Of course, processes have already begun to support them with relief items and other things that they need to be able to take care of the injured, console the bereaved families and handle the dead,” he told JoyNews.
According to him, the mining company is ready to give full support to all the agencies handling the victims.