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Monday, May 23, 2022

Persons who flouted regulations will face the law – Lands Minister

Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor with the IGP, Dr George Akuffo Dampare

Explosion at Apiate

Dr Bawumia leads government delegation to Apiate

Government assures of thorough investigation into Apiate accident

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abdulia Jinapor, has assured of governments commitment to ensuring a thorough investigation into the explosion accident recorded at Apiate in the Bogoso area.

The minister, following the incident, joined a government delegation, on Friday, to visit the area to acquire first-hand information, as well as commiserate with victims of the incident.

The delegation was led by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia who was joined by other government officials including ministers and deputy ministers of state. Also joining the delegation were security heads including the Inspector General of Police, Dr George Akuffo Dampare.

On his part, the Lands Minister stated that his outfit is working with security agencies to complete investigations into the incident.

Referencing laws governing the mining sector, he noted that regulations exist to forestall such occurrences and that persons found to have flouted the regulations in the Apiate incident, if established by the investigation, will be made to face the law.

“The sector Minister, Mr. Jinapor, has assured that the investigations will be thorough, to determine the actual cause of the incident and its aftermath. He noted that the manufacture, storage, transportation and use of explosives, is governed by law, particularly the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703) and the Minerals and Mining (Explosives) Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2177). Mr. Jinapor said any person found to have flouted these regulations will be made to face the law.

“He assured that government will implement all recommendations that will result from the investigations, to ensure that such incidents do not occur in future. The Minister also said the Ministry will hold meetings with all stakeholders, including mining companies, Ghana Chamber of Mines and mine support service companies, to discuss the entire regime of handling and use of explosives and other hazardous chemicals for mining, with a view of developing safe and healthy mining operations and support services in the country,” a news statement by the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry stated.

The accident at Apiate, which occurred around midday on Thursday, January 20, 2022, resulted from a collision between a truck belonging to Maxam Ghana Limited which was transporting explosives to a mining company, and a tricycle.

The impact of the collision is said to have caused the explosives to detonate, causing the vehicle to explode. The situation was exacerbated by a nearby transformer which also exploded in the process.

Initial reports by officials said about thirteen (13) people have died in the process, while over a hundred people suffered various degrees of injuries. The injured are being treated in nearby hospitals, with some referred to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.

The impact of the explosion also caused damage to several houses in the community, leaving many families displaced.

Following a briefing during the visit on Friday, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia expressed the condolences of government to the bereaved families and conveyed the sympathy of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to the injured and displaced families.

The vice president indicated that government has directed the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, to coordinate with the State Housing Company and the mining companies, to rebuild the destroyed houses.

However, commitment by the government to rebuild the affected community according to the ministry “is without prejudice to any liabilities and/or criminal culpability whatsoever.”

The delegation also visited some of the injured in the hospital and the displaced families who are being housed in schools and churches. The vice president further disclosed that government will be fully responsible for the medical expenses of all the injured persons.

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