Atomic explosions: Officials tight-lipped on casualties 12 hours after incident

It’s been over twelve hours after explosions and fire hit two fuel stations at Atomic Junction in Accra and officials of government, Ghana National Fire Service and the Police have remained tight-lipped on the number of people injured, casualties and level of destruction. All official communication channels of the state agencies on the ground, including the National Ambulance Service and the National Disaster Management Organisation, appears to have been sealed as most Ghanaians woke up Sunday morning with little information on the disaster. A leakage of gas from one of two gas fuel stations in the enclave around the Atomic Junction reportedly triggered fire, which extended to an adjoining Total Filling Station causing two explosions that sent fireballs into the skies.Hundreds of passengers, traders and residents in and around the Atomic Junction area fled their homes and workplaces for safety as the explosions lit the skies and caused severe heat waves.Electricity supply to most part of the area was cut off as some transformers were affected. Most parts of Accra have since Sunday dawn also gone off but it is not clear whether that is related to the explosion. Amidst the chaos, speeding vehicles, which were also trying to flee the scene, reportedly knocked down some people who were escaping from the scene. Some of the affected are said to have died while others have been injured. Transfer of injured Both the injured and the dead were sent to the Pentecost Hospital at Madina, the 37 Military Hospital and the Greater Accra Regional Hospital at Ridge. On Sunday morning, the Ghana National Ambulance and the Pentecost Hospital were transferring the injured from the Pentecost Hospital to the Greater Accra Regional Hospital and the 37 Military Hopsital, 3News’ Kelvin Carey reported. Fire Service, Police, Military, NADMO on the groundOur reporter says a number of government officials including MPs as well as military and police personnel are on the ground with Fire Service Personnel and NADMO officials assessing the situation. “Officials are all unwilling to talk or disclose any information,” Carey reported from the once vibrant enclave, which has now been reduced to rubble like a war zone.

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Situation under control Commissioner of Police Dr George Akuffo-Dampare who is the Director of Police in charge of Operations said the situation is under control, noting that all stakeholders were on the ground working to update the people of Ghana. “We want to assure the good people of Ghana that everything is under control. They should remain calm and at the right time all the information would be shared…Fire Service is in charge, everything is under control, we should remain calm as people and stay focus for the technical people to share information with us,” he advised. He added: “We have cordoned off the place since the incident happened. Strategically we have put in place measures to secure the place for Fires Service and other stakeholders to take their respective roles in this exercise”. Earlier Saturday night, Deputy Information Minister Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah told TV3 “unfortunately we have recorded some deaths” but he did not put a figure it. By Stephen Kwabena Effah||Ghana]]>