Not less than seven people were killed and 68 injured, mostly suffering burns, after an explosion at a fuel distribution site in Ghana’s capital, fire service spokesman Billy Anaglate said on Sunday.
The explosion on Saturday evening at the state-owned GOIL site sent a giant fireball into the sky above the eastern part of Accra, causing frightened residents to flee their homes in large numbers. Others were forcibly evacuated.
Ghana’s Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia visited the site of the accident early Sunday where he pledged that the government would work to curb such tragedies.
“Eight of these explosions in three years is too much,” he said while at the LNG filling station near Legon, a suburb of Accra.
Ghana’s Information Ministry confirmed the death toll from late Saturday, and said that dozens of others also had been treated and released for injuries.
The tanker explosion at a gas station late Saturday was followed by a secondary blast. The exact cause of the accident is under investigation, Ghana National Fire Service spokesman Billy Anaglatey said.
Ghana, a relatively new oil and gas producer, has suffered several recent accidents including an explosion in 2015 that killed around 100 people.
Several onlookers at the scene of the explosion expressed anger on Sunday that the government had not done more to prevent another fatal accident.
In May, an explosion at a factory in the Western Regional capital of Takoradi occurred as a tanker was discharging liquefied petroleum gas at the Ghana Household Utilities Manufacturing Company factory. That explosion killed at least six fire service personnel at the scene, and injured at least other 80 people, according to Ghana’s state news agency.
A June 2015 explosion killed more than 150 people as many were seeking shelter from a storm at the gas station when that tragedy occurred.