Africa and Sub-Saharan African Environmental IssuesEnvironmental IssuesMining

Tragedy Strikes Shama Quarry: Explosion Claims Lives and Sparks Search for Missing Workers

Four individuals have tragically lost their lives, and a significant number of people remain unaccounted for following an explosion that rocked a quarry site in Shama, located in the Western Region, during the early hours of Sunday. Numerous others have sustained injuries as well.

This devastating incident transpired at the G-Omini Quarry within the Shama District of the Western Region. Many of the affected workers, including both Ghanaian and Chinese nationals on the night shift, suffered severe burns, some of them to the point of being unrecognizable.

The injured have been swiftly transported to various hospitals, while the search continues for those still missing. The explosion occurred at approximately 00:30 GMT and was attributed to the detonation of explosives, which were reportedly stored without proper permits in an unstructured storage facility.

In addition to the tragic loss of life and injuries, the quarry itself has incurred extensive damage. Ebenezer Dadzie, the District Chief Executive for Shama, has confirmed the incident and mentioned ongoing efforts to rescue the missing individuals and assess the full extent of the damage. The District Security Council is yet to provide an official count of the injured and fatalities.

According to sources, the company responsible for the quarry had been unlawfully storing explosives without the necessary permission from the Minerals Commission, in violation of regulations governing the acquisition, storage, and use of explosives. The explosion occurred not during the blasting process but due to the detonation of explosives stored in a non-compliant storage area. Tragically, those affected were workers engaged in their routine nighttime duties at the time of the explosion.

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