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Faith Nyasuguta 

A Spanish company operating in Ghana has been slapped a $6 milion fine by the ministry of lands and Natural resources after its truck conveying explosives to a mining site exploded, resulting in the death of some 13 Ghanaians. Many more were wounded.

It is reported that the Maxam company truck was ferrying the explosives to Chiram gold mine, belonging to Maxam corps, a Madrid-based company. The truck collided with a motorcycle, causing the explosion.

Ghanaian media indicated that over 100 people sustained injuries and the village was leveled to the ground. At first, Maxam denied responsibility for the explosion and pushed it to a local contractor.

A statement released by the ministry of lands held the company responsible for the killer situation. 

“The ministry has established regulatory breaches on the part of Maxam in respect to the manufacture, storage and transportation of explosives,” the ministry said.

Maxam has thus been fined $5million for damages and $1million for the breach of administrative regulations. The fine is set to be paid in a monthly instalment.

The damage after the explosion was massive /Courtesy/

Onlookers at the explosion scene indicated that the truck was on fire for about 45 minutes, of which residents were there to take pictures and videos, before the explosion finally occurred.

On the fateful day in January, smoldering timber and torn-up sheet metal marked where hundreds of houses had stood in Apiate, a settlement about 200 km (130 miles) west of the capital Accra. 

On January 20, the blast left a crater roughly 20 meters (66 ft) wide. Doors and roofs were blown off other buildings, a Reuters reporter at the scene said.

Rescue workers combed the site while excavators dug through the larger piles of dirt and debris.

“We’ve seen damage to lives and property here that is just indescribable,” Daniel Adu-Gyamfi, a student from a nearby mining college who came to volunteer with the response team said.

” … you could see human remains all over the place.”

In a video apparently filmed by a bystander in Apiate, people were seen walking towards a fire on the side of the road when a powerful explosion ripped through the settlement.

It was not immediately clear what caused the accident. Police said a motorcycle crashed into the truck, then caught fire, and a government statement suggested a roadside power transformer could have played a role.

On explosion, the ministry of lands and natural resources said in a statement that Maxam would be suspended from manufacturing, transporting or supplying explosives for mining operations pending the outcome of investigations into the incident.

The ministry also ordered the suspension of Ghana’s chief inspector of mines, who is responsible for supervising explosives use in the sector.

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Faith Nyasuguta