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Explosion kills 17 in western Ghana

At least 17 people have been killed and 59 injured in a deadly explosion near the western Ghanaian city of Bogoso.

Government sources said the blast occurred on Thursday after a truck carrying explosives collided with a motorcycle.

The explosion, which left a huge crater and destroyed some 200 buildings in the village of Apiate, created a major disaster zone as people’s homes were quickly reduced to piles of wood and metal.

Footages showed residents rushing towards a raging fire and rising plumes of black smoke to inspect the damage, while rescue workers waded through the rubble for survivors caught in the devastation. 

“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 overnight.

The minister said initial signs point to “an accident involving a truck transporting explosive materials for a mining company, a motorcycle and a third vehicle” which took place near an electrical transformer.

“Out of 59 people injured, 42 are receiving treatment in hospitals or health centres and some are in critical condition,” Mr Nkrumah added.

Ghanaian President  Nana Akufo-Addo described the blast as a “truly sad, unfortunate and tragic incident”.

The government said those in critical condition would be transferred to hospitals in the capital, Accra, about 300 kilometres away.

The police have requested residents of surrounding villages to open their schools and churches to accommodate any additional casualties.

Editing by Tony Okerafor