Gas explosion kills 9 at La(Dec 23)
Nine people have been confirmed dead in a gas explosion that occurred near the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre at La in Accra yesterday.
The identities of the victims were yet to be established at the time of filing this report.
Security and rescue officials at the scene of the incident confirmed to the Daily Graphic that nine persons lost their lives in the incident
Eyewitnesses said the explosion occurred around 5.30 p.m. and swept through the street onto parts of the Trade Fair Centre.
The injured are said to be workers waiting for buses on a road that links the area to Tseaddo, Spintex and Teshie Tsui Bleoo.
The entire area was cordoned off, while heavily armed police and military men warded off inquisitive people.
"The explosion occurred and the fire just went up like a big curtain divided into two and spread into the trade fair," an eyewitness told the Daily Graphic.
The cause of the fire was unknown at the time of going to press, as firemen at the scene declined to comment.
It took firemen and more than seven fire engines more than three hours to bring the inferno under control.
The Member of Parliament-elect for La-Dadekotopon, Mr Vincent Sowah Odotei, who rushed to the area, said the timely intervention of a military officer called Captain saved the situation from getting out of hand.
He said the officer in question managed to get the emergency services, including the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), to respond to the situation almost immediately after the incident.
The security men managed to push the crowd away from the station, block the road and control the traffic without causing a traffic jam.
Houses in the area have been evacuated, while electricity has been put off.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Nii Amasah Namoale, said the report he had received was that a spark from a transformer at the Trade Fair Centre had spread to the gas station and that gas from the station had spread to the centre.
The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo, declined to comment, except to say that the details were sketchy and that he would prefer the GNFS to do its work.
The two gas stations in the area share walls with a cemetery and the La-Dadekotopon Municipal Assembly.
It is unclear the number of people who were at the gas station at the time of the explosion, but the station was yet to close for the day when the incident happened.