The Ministry of Information has confirmed that 76 casualties – including 17 dead and 59 injured victims – were recorded in the Apiate/ Bogoso explosion.

Almost the entire Apiate town near Bogoso in the Western Region was destroyed in the January 20 explosion involving a vehicle transporting mining explosives.

An image of the scene of the explosion

According to the Ghana Police Service, the vehicle was carrying explosives to Chirano Gold Mines and was involved in an accident with a motorcycle.

A large-scale rescue operation was deployed by the government to help save persons trapped under rubble after the huge blast tore down several buildings in the Apiate community.

The emergency and rescuing teams included personnel from the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana National Fire Service, the Ghana Armed Forces, the Ghana Ambulance Service, the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) and the Ghana Health Service.

More than 12 hours after the huge explosion, a high-powered government delegation led by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia visited the community to assess the extent of the damage and provide relief items to displaced residents.

He noted that the government will be working with some stakeholders including the State Housing Company and some mining companies to rebuild the Apiate community.

The Ministry of Land’s and Natural Resources which has oversight responsibility of the mining sector has indicated plans to set up a committee to investigate circumstances leading to the huge explosion.

Timeline of events

The Western Regional Commander of the Ghana National Fire Service,  Assistant Chief Fire Officer (ACFO) Ohene has provided some key information relating to the accident that has so far claimed 17 lives.

“We received the desperate call at 12:19hours. We received a call at the watch room at the Prestea Fire Station. The call came from a radio presenter at Trinity FM in Bogoso,” he said.

  • The first distress call came through around 12 noon on Thursday
  • The call came from a journalist
  • Around 1 PM on Thursday, fire tenders arrived at the scene
  • A large number of the houses in Apiate have been razed down
  • Took 4 hours to bring the fire under control
  • The vehicle that exploded was carrying 10 tonnes of Ammonium Nitrite fuel oil was coming from Tarkwa
  • Survivors were initially taken to three facilities in Bogoso and Tarkwa


By: Gifty Tracy Aminu