On January 20, 2022, Ghana experienced one of the deadliest man-made disasters in recent times when a truck carrying mining explosives to the Chirano Gold Mines got involved in an accident. The highly unfortunate incident occurred at Apiatse, a farming community in the Prestea Huni Valley Municipality of the Western Region.
After the accident, the driver of the truck was said to have raised an alarm, asking the nearby inhabitants to run for their lives, because of the impending danger of an explosion he anticipated. Though the alarm was meant to create a high level of alertness so that the people would take cover, some of the residents were said to have ignored the driver’s alarm bells, and went to the scene to have first-hand information about what had happened.
As envisaged and announced by the driver, the explosion occurred in the deadly form of a big blast, which shook the entire community, killing some of the onlookers and destroying homes. The big blast, however, heightened the anxiety of the people, as a lot of them allegedly rushed to the scene to catch a glimpse of the calamity that had befallen their town.
As many converged at the accident scene, a second explosion occurred, which killed most of the people who were within range or were rushing to the area. According to official information, the blasts killed at least seventeen people, while a total of fifty-nine others sustaining various severe degrees of injuries.
What is of grave concern to The Chronicle is that many of the unfortunate deaths which occurred at Apiatse could have been avoided if we had instilled in ourselves a high level of alertness and self-discipline.
However, it seems that hard lessons were never learned from the highly devastating Apiatse situation that claimed precious human lives. A recent media report indicates that some residents of Kaase in the Ashanti Region went out in their numbers to siphon fuel from an overturned diesel tanker.
Very eager to cash in on the unfortunate accident, they ignored all warnings and calls on them to move away from the accident scene, because of the foreseeable dangers involved in such situations. As a matter of fact, not even the presence of the police could deter the people from going on with their deadly expeditions to siphon part of the over 50,000 litres of diesel.
From all indications, it is quite obvious that another disaster could have occurred and possibly claimed the lives of those who engaged in the siphoning of the fuel, and this is what the paper is extremely worried about.
We are overly concerned about the rate at which precious human lives are lost in this country through man-made disasters, and, therefore, call for a national discourse to deal with such situations. If possible, a law must be enacted to criminalise such conducts, because it appears to us that a mere warning is not helping to deal with the situation.