Three persons have been injured in an explosive waste disposal incident at Asaman in the Okere District of the Eastern Region.
The injured were blasters who were disposing the explosive items. They were rushed to the Eastern Regional Hospital for treatment.
The incident which occurred on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at about 11:55 am also affected dozens of buildings in Asaman and another community, Okwenya within the Yilo Krobo Municipality.
Impact of the explosion
Kasapa News Eastern Regional Correspondent Kojo Ansah who visited the communities reports that there were cracks in buildings and damage to ceilings and other electronic appliances.
The explosive incident reportedly caused trauma among locals in the two communities with two octogenarian couples among those traumatised by the harrowing experience.
At Asaman, residents escaped from their rooms to converge at the roadside of the community for safety.
Church services were disrupted by the earth tremor caused by the explosion incident.
The incident occurred at Asaman Quarry Explosive Magazine site which is about 2km close to the Asaman community.
A visit to the incident scene noted that the explosive wastes were being deflagrated in the open at the site when the incident occurred.
Vegetation around the scene was pulverized by the impact of the blast.
Further checks indicate that a Tarkwa based company – Maxam Ghana limited sent the three blasters with explosives waste to dispose of on the quarry site owned by one Bright Nuer.
According to the chairman of the quarry, Fiabor Kwabena, the burning of the explosive waste interfered with a strong wind that carried some of the highly explosive magazines into the fire leading to the accidental blast.
Personnel of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) were in the community for investigation and assessment.
“Preliminary investigation indicates that the Quarry company gave out the site to another company to dispose it’s expired explosive magazines which were not done according to established standard operative procedure hence the incident,” a Deputy Eastern Regional Director of the National Disaster Management Organization, Eric Tetteh, told Kasapa News.
According to him, the Organization was assessing the impact of the incident in the two communities.
Assembly member for Nkurakan -Okwenya Lawrence Lawyer Kumeh said the incident is very traumatic therefore regulators must ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
Regulation (6) of the Minerals and Mining (Explosives Regulations,2012(L.I.2177 ) states:
(1) A holder of a mineral right in relation to which explosives are used and a manager shall, in relation to the use of explosives under that manager’s control, appoint a person with a valid explosives manager’s certificate as explosives manager.
(2) A manager shall ensure that activities that involve explosives, accessories or precursor substances are:
(a) managed by a certified explosives manager;(b) carried out only by competent and certified persons; and
(c) carried out only if the licences and permits required are in place.
(3) The appointment of competent persons does not relieve the holder of a mineral right or a manager, of any personal responsibilities under these Regulations.
Regulation (7) specifies that any person who contravenes any of these Regulations or an order made under these Regulations for which a sanction is not provided commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than fifty penalty units and not more than one hundred penalty units or a term of imprisonment of not less than three months and not more than six months.