APIATE: Nancy Nyarco heard a loud noise nearby as she was preparing porridge at a roadside stall near the edge of the village of Apiate in the mining area of ​​western Ghana.

Looking up, I saw the bike crashing into a heavy truck and igniting, Nyarko said. Her right hand and left foot were bandaged.

The crash occurred at 13:25 on January 20th. In less than an hour, Apiate became a wasteland of rubble, lumber, and twisted metal, yawning a 20m (65ft) crater from the explosion. At least 13 people were killed and nearly 200 were injured.

Residents did not know that a truck owned by the Spanish company Maxam contained 10 tons of explosives to blow up rocks at the Chirano gold mine operated by the Toronto-based Kinross Gold Corporation, North.

The explosion exposed the risk of transporting mining goods in poor areas with limited emergency response.

The truck was burning 45 minutes before the blast. Meanwhile, residents were able to walk to the scene for police and firefighters to take pictures and videos without stopping them, eight witnesses said.

Survivors were left with reduced and protracted questions about the scope of safety measures and the speed and effectiveness of the authorities’ response.

“The truck stopped, the driver got off and started waving,” Nyarko said.

“He came across the store and told people to go out. I couldn’t hear his voice from where I was, but I could see people gesturing to escape, so I decided to leave too, “Nyarko said.

Ghana police spokesman Kwesi Ofori told Reuters that the truck was accompanied by a Maxam car with a flashing security light in the front and a police car in the back.

According to police documents shared by Ohori, the escort carried 10 tonnes of explosives and was approved by Tarkuwa’s regional headquarters on January 19. Truck drivers and police officers told nearby schools to evacuate students and fuel stations. Down, Ohori said.

“When he saw what happened, the policeman quickly turned far away and began warning people to pay attention to what was happening,” Ohori said.

“The escort police also warned the fuel station and they closed. It could have been a major disaster,” Ohori said.

Witnesses of Nancy and seven other accidents said they couldn’t remember seeing a Maxam car with police escorts and flashing lights, or helped police warn the villagers.

Fred Antwi, the manager of the GOIL fuel station, said he did not talk to police officers, and police from the Bogosoro station, about a mile away, did not arrive until the blast was over.

“We made a phone call and made a phone call.”

Maxam did not respond to the request for comment. A Kinross spokesman said the vehicle is under Maxam’s sole supervision.

Ghana’s Minister of Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said police have begun investigating a series of events and facts surrounding the case.

Many villagers fled, but a curious audience walked towards the flames, as the video shared on social media showed.

At least eight witnesses said the truck had burned for 45 minutes before it exploded. According to police, the interval between the crash and the explosion was 15 to 20 minutes.

“When he tried to call the fire department, I talked to the driver,” said Kwamemensa, his face patched with bandages.

“He kept saying something was about to happen. We called, but by the time they came, the worst had already happened.” -Reuters