The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor has directed the Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission to interdict the Chief Inspector of Mines with immediate effect, pending the ongoing investigation into the huge explosion at Appiatse near Bogoso in the Western Region.
This is because pursuant to regulation 2 of the Minerals and Mining (Explosive) Regulation, 2012 (L.I 2177), the Chief Inspector of Mines is the chief inspector of explosives, and is responsible for the supervision of the manufacture, storage, transportation, and use of explosives for mining and mine support services.
Apart from his interdiction, the CEO of the Minerals Commission has also been directed to suspend the registration of Maxam Company Limited with the Commission, thereby precluding the company from the manufacture, transportation and or supply of explosives for mining operations, pending outcome of investigations into the matter.
Seventeen people have so far been confirmed dead in the huge explosion.
Fifty-nine others were also injured out of the 76 rescued so far.
A statement issued by Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, following the tragedy, said: “As of 17:00 hours, a total of seventeen (17) people have, sadly, been confirmed dead, and fifty-nine (59) injured persons had been rescued, bringing to seventy-six (76), the number of persons known, so far, to have been affected by the tragedy”.
“Out of the fifty-nine (59) injured persons, forty-two (42) are receiving treatment and some in critical condition.”
It added: “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.”
The explosion occurred when a truck conveying explosives owned by Maxam Limited was involved in an accident with a motorcycle and a third vehicle close to an electronic transformer.
Apart from the deaths, the explosion destroyed several properties.