Calm is gradually returning to the tragedy-hit Western Region town of Appiatse, after Thursday’s vehicle-carrying mine explosives fire incident, which has so far claimed 17 lives and left hundreds injured.
Th injured are receiving medical attention at various health centres in the Prestea-Huni Valley Municipality with some referred to the Effia-Nkwanta Government Hospital at Sekondi, and beyond.
The town, however, looks desolate as the GNA witnessed an only few people counting their losses and picking up the pieces.
Some residents are being housed at the St Matthew Catholic Church Parish Hall in Bogoso and are being taken care of by the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).
Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, who is leading the Government delegation to the town, has expressed the nation’s condolence to the people and assured them of state support towards healing and recovery.
The delegation includes Lands and Natural Resources Minister Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Interior Minister Ambrose Dery and Western Regional Minister Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah.
The Inspector General of Police, Dr George Akuffo Dampare, is also present with his team.
The joint team commiserated with the bereaved families and visited a number of health facilities to sympathise with those on admission.
They presented assorted items to the patients and pledged to give more assistance.
The tragedy occurred along the Bogoso-Bawdie road when a vehicle conveying explosives to the Chirano Gold Mines site allegedly collided with a motorcycle, resulting in an explosion.
According to a statement issued by the Minister of Information, Friday, the government promptly activated a national emergency response mechanism for personnel from the Police Service, Ghana Armed Forces, Fire Service, NADMO and the Municipal Authority to help those affected and send relief to residents of the town.
The statement said additional personnel and resources had been deployed to the community to support the ongoing response effort.
An alternative route, it said, had been created to facilitate the movement of stranded vehicles plying that route, while all hospitals within the vicinity were being used to treat injured persons.
An evacuation plan has also been activated to move those in critical conditions to medical facilities in Accra so they could get the needed assistance.
The statement said to forestall a secondary explosion at the site, a joint team of police and military explosion experts had been deployed to examine the situation and put in place requisite measures.
The Government assured that some efforts to get stranded community members shelter and other basic necessities in the days ahead had been set in motion.
“We would want to urge the public to remain calm and obtain regular updates from the national emergency response team,” the statement said.