As Appiatse residents continue their recovery from the explosion, the Chief of Bepo Traditional Area has challenged the account given by the Ghana Police Service leading to the incident challenging them to provide evidence that the truck tasked to transport the explosives to the Chirano Gold Mines had a police escort.
According to the Chief who has Appiastse under his jurisdiction before the unfortunate incident stated that the information he has, points to the fact that the truck had no escort.
He revealed this during a working visit by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, and the Works and Housing Minister, Francis Asenso-Boakye.
“What I want to tell the Minister is that the tanker that was carrying the explosives had no police escort. People in Appiatse were around when the tanker was entering the town. When the accident happened, it was in the full glare of the people so if anyone should say there was a police escort, that will be false. If indeed there was a police escort, the question will be where were the police at the time. If anybody wants to challenge this, we would want the individual to come before us to do so.”
The Chief’s account of the incident is not in tandem with the Director-General of the Police Public Affairs Department, ACP Kwesi Ofori’s account that the Tarkwa Divisional Police duly signed and approved a police escort for the truck.
However, the government has assured the chiefs and residents of Appiatse that processes have begun to rebuild the town.
Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, who is on a working visit to the area, assured that the findings of the committee investigating the explosion will soon be released.
He said the reconstruction of the town and the provision of relief items to residents remains a priority.
“As you can see, we have had fruitful engagements with the community members. I must report quickly that the State Housing Company has done some work already, including a sampling of inventory of the structures we are dealing with. President Nana Addo had said the government will take the necessary steps to reconstruct the Appiate community.”
The Minister for Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, also indicated that officials of the spatial planning of his ministry will immediately start with the layout plan for the redevelopment of the community.
“As Minister of Works and Housing, it is our responsibility to follow up and take the necessary action. I have had the opportunity to monitor what is going on in the news, and it is important that I follow up to have a first-hand understanding of what is happening.”
At least 14 people have been confirmed dead as a result of the explosion.
Over 170 families were directly affected by the incident.