Gas station in Ghana explodes

by 07/10/2017 20:07:00 0 comments 1 Views
  • Fuel station in Ghana's capital on fire after blaze started at 7.30pm local time
  • Photographs show gigantic fire ball as residents flee the city of Accra in panic 
  • It is unknown whether there are any casualties at this stage  

By Katie French For Mailonline

Published: 17:25 EDT, 7 October 2017 | Updated: 20:07 EDT, 7 October 2017

A petrol station in Ghana's capital Accra exploded on Saturday evening, killing an unknown number of people, a government official said.

Footage shows a gigantic fireball lighting up the night sky after the fueling station at Atomic Junction exploded forcing hundreds to flee.   

Deputy Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said: 'Unfortunately there are some fatalities and we are working to have the numbers. There are quite a number also injured.'

The blaze started at 7.30pm local time (8.30pm GMT) but it now said to be under control with the government planning to release casualty figures later today. 

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Pictured: Residents are fleeing Ghana's capital city tonight after a petrol station exploded sending a fireball into the sky 
Pictured: Residents are fleeing Ghana's capital city tonight after a petrol station exploded sending a fireball into the sky 

Pictured: Residents are fleeing Ghana's capital city tonight after a petrol station exploded sending a fireball into the sky 

A police spokeswoman Efia Tenge said the blasts happened at a petrol station in the Atomic Junction roundabout area of Legon in northeast Accra at about 7:30 pm.

She said it was a gas explosion and added: 'I am in Legon and I heard two explosions. My whole building was shaking.'

A government official said it has left a number of fatalities but it was not known the exact number at this stage, according to local sources.

It is also reported that a number of cars had been burned out as fires spread. 

The Accra city authorities warned people to avoid the area, which is also home to the University of Ghana campus.

Police are warning people to avoid the area, which is also home to the University of Ghana campus
Police are warning people to avoid the area, which is also home to the University of Ghana campus

Police are warning people to avoid the area, which is also home to the University of Ghana campus

Hundreds of concerned residents took to social media in the seconds after the blast to find out what had happened.

One man wrote: 'There's been a second explosion guys. Something bizarre is going on in Accra. I'm so fucking scared right now.'  

The explosion is a reminder of a tragedy in June 2015 when more than 150 people were killed as they sought shelter from seasonal rains and flooding at a petrol station.

Leaked fuel floating on top of rising waters had caught fire, burning down buildings and the filling station, trapping people in vehicles as the pumps exploded.

Kobby Boateng, a computer programmer, said he had returned to the university campus with his girlfriend Saturday when the blast happened.

'All of a sudden, we heard a 'boom' and the flash of an explosion, which made the building just shake and the lights went out,' he said.

'People were rushing out of their rooms. Some of them were naked and the heat that was coming from that blast, my God, it was unbearable.'

An AFP correspondent said the area had been cordoned off. Fire crews and ambulances were at the scene.  

 

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