The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has led a delegation to ascertain the state of affairs at Appiatse after a vehicle carrying mining explosives exploded on Thursday.

According to the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, who disclosed this, the delegation is going to sympathise with the victims of the incident and their families, as well as ensure relief items are provided to them.

“We are going to concern ourselves with the relief effort and the circumstances of the injured. NADMO is already on the ground. They have been working overnight,” he said.

He also stated that the police in collaboration with his outfit, the fire service, and other agencies responsible, are working hand-in-hand to conduct a broader inquiry into the circumstances that led to the incident.

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“As we speak the security agencies are already on the ground, same as NADMO. Whatever investigations or interrogations and reforms that ought to be put in place will be done,” he said.

While he acknowledged that the use of explosives is an integral part of large-scale mining, he stated that the said company, if found guilty of breaching any laws regarding the transporting of explosives, will not be let off the hook. They will be brought to book.

“I don’t think the use of explosives for mining is the issue, but how they are handled. I think it’s early days yet, when the facts are assembled the government will take the necessary steps.

“The President, and the government, is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with them, which is why the Vice President is leading the delegation. I believe in a matter of days we will be able to come to a fair conclusion of what happened,” he said.

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Many are feared dead in an explosion that occurred at Appiatse between Bogoso and Bawdie in the Western Region on Thursday afternoon.

Preliminary investigation, according to the Police, revealed that “a mining explosive vehicle moving from Tarkwa to Chirano mines collided with a motorcycle resulting in the explosion.”

So far, at least 17 people have been confirmed dead and several others are in hospital, responding to treatment.

The incident has also rendered many homeless.