The Atomic Junction explosion has once again revived calls for something meaningful to be done about gas station safety in Ghana.
It is no longer news that there were two massive explosions at Madina Atomic Junction on the evening of Saturday, October 7. A total of seven people perished in the gross inferno that resulted from the explosions, while about 132 others sustained various degrees of injury.
Properties in form of vehicles, building and other valuable facilities around the area were also destroyed by fire. While some of the injured have been treated and discharged, those with severe injuries are still on admission at the 37 Military, Ridge and Legon Hospitals.
There were initial suggestions that a Kebab (also called chinchinga or suya) seller’s fire ignited the explosions, but this have been rubbished by some eyewitnesses and stakeholders.
President Nana Akufo-Addo on Sunday, paid a visit to the casualties in the hospital. Former President John Mahama in a condolence message to affected families, called on Ghanaians to lend helping hands to victims of the Atomic Junction explosion.
Both the President and his Vice, Dr. Mahamamudu Bawumia, with other government officials who visited the fire scene, vowed to ensure that new policies are put in place and also fiercely enforced to prevent a repeat of such incidents.
Accident Claimed Member of Presidential Press Corps
A member of the Presidential Press Corps has been identified as one of the seven persons who died on Saturday following the Atomic Junction gas explosion in Accra.
Mohammed Ashley, a cameraman, who was capturing the scenes of the accident, has been confirmed as the person who reportedly fell to his death from the flyover at Atomic junction. The late Ashley was a reporter (Camera Man) at Net 2, an Accra-based television station.
Reports indicate that, the deceased, who lived close to the area, rushed to the scene with his camera upon hearing the explosive sounds. While recording, he reportedly jumped off the footbridge out of panic and suffered severe burns which led to his death.
Atomic Junction Explosion, Not the First of its Kind!
Incidents of gas explosions and other forms of fire outbreaks in Ghana, are in fact becoming more disgraceful than saddening, considering the frequency of such occurrences.
Available statistics reveal that close to 30 lives have been lost to about eight gas station explosions in the last four years, aside that of the June 3, 2015 twin disaster of flood and fire. Since 2015, the Atomic Junction Explosion is reported to be the fourth fatal fire incident that emanated from a gas station explosion in the country within a space of the last two years.
Recall the Takoradi gas explosion which injured many, the Labadi gas explosion which claimed six lives and injured scores counts among them. The ugly incident had left 5 dead on the spot, and over 30 others seriously injured, out of which the minister’s sister counted among those who did not survive their injuries.
Nobody even wants to call to memory the gory June 3 incident which claimed over 150 lives.
Among several other factors that contribute to gas explosions across the country, the careless siting of gas stations and fire risk factories is prominent. Meanwhile, the question is, what has been done about to curb the menace all these while?
Ghanaians are sincerely hoping that it is not the mass death of all the country’s citizens that will eventually move concerned authorities to look into the menace for good.