At least 73 dead in Ghana after explosion at gas station

  • AP, Accra, Ghana
  • Updated: Jun 04, 2015 15:27 IST

A gas station in Ghana's capital blew up killing at least 73 people who were sheltering there from torrential rainfall and flooding, authorities said on Thursday.

Billy Anaglate, a spokesman for Ghana Fire Service, said crews were recovering bodies early Thursday at the scene of the disaster.

The cause of the overnight explosion was not immediately known."We are still trying to salvage the site of the accident before we can come out with an accurate death-toll," Anaglate told journalists.

Graphic footage aired on national television early Thursday showed corpses being piled into the back of a pickup truck and other charred bodies trapped amid the debris. Neighboring buildings that had caught fire burned into the night as floodwaters hampered recovery efforts.

"Many people took shelter under a shed at the station during a severe rain across the country and got trapped when the explosion happened," Michael Plange, who lives a few blocks away, told The Associated Press.

The explosion occurred near the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, in the center of Accra.

Police public affairs officer Cephas Arthur told the public to stay away from the scene.

"We must allow the Fire Service and National Disaster Management Organisation to work to find trapped bodies at the scene of explosion," he said.

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