ACCRA, Jun 5 – More than 150 people have now died in a devastating petrol station fire and heavy flooding in Ghana’s capital, Accra, the country’s Red Cross said on Friday.
“As at yesterday (Thursday) we have recovered more than 150 corpses. Sixty people have been taken to the hospital,” disaster management coordinator Francis Obeng told AFP.
The fire broke out at a filling station in Accra late Wednesday, where people sought shelter from heavy rains that caused widespread flooding.
Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama described the loss of life as “catastrophic and almost unprecedented”, and announced that three days of national mourning would be held from Monday.
There were also victims from the heavy flooding, and rescuers as well as dozens of volunteers are currently carrying out assessment of the situation and providing relief materials to those displaced or affected by the disaster, Obeng said.
“We are providing blankets, mats and drugs to residents in the seven communities affected by the fire and flooding,” he added.
“UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) officials are also joining us in our efforts to bring succour to those affected,” he added.
Ghana police spokesman Arthur Cephas said that the situation was returning to normal.
“Police are protecting lives and properties as well as ensuring that evidence that would assist in the investigation is not tampered with,” he told AFP.
“We have commenced investigations into this monumental national tragedy… more bodies have been recovered from across Accra following the flooding.”