At least 200 have been killed in Ghana’s capital, Accra, after a huge explosion at a petrol station where dozens were sheltering from torrential rains and floods. Edward Omane Boamah, the Ghanaian Communications Minister, described the situation as a “national emergency”.
Local hospitals said morgues were full, with the death toll likely to rise. On June 4, the fire brigade said 90 people had been killed, but this was revised upward by the Ghanaian Interior Ministry to at least 200 the day after.
A fire brigade spokesman said the blast was caused by a fire that erupted at a nearby lorry terminal, then spread to the petrol station and other buildings. It spread through the filling station, operated by GOIL, shattering windows and walls and reducing the station to rubble.
“It was an explosive fire and so the people sheltering at the filling station did not have an opportunity to escape,” he said.
The area, known simply as Circle, is a major transport hub in the capital – drawing in people from across the city and the surrounding commuter suburbs. A large market overflows on to the road, which is busy both day and night.