Ghana petrol station inferno kills 96 in Accra

At least 96 people have died in a fire at a petrol station in Ghana’s capital, Accra, the fire service says.


The fire started as people in the city are trying to cope with two days of heavy rain, which has left many homeless and without power.

The flooding hampered rescue efforts and may have led to the fire, the BBC’s Sammy Darko reports from Accra.

There are fears that the number of dead could rise as the search of the site continues.

It is thought that people were in the petrol station sheltering from the downpours when the fire broke out, our correspondent says.

Bus conductor Yaw Aforve was sleeping in his vehicle which was parked at the petrol station when the fire started.

He said he jumped into the floodwaters and when he came up for air, the fire burnt his face.

“I was swept away by the water to the other side [of the road],” he added. “I saw so many people screaming and shouting.”

The flooding helped cause the fire, the Ghana fire service said.

The waters “caused the diesel and petrol to flow away from the gas station, and fire from a nearby house led to the explosion”, spokesman Billy Anaglate said, the Associated Press news agency reports.

President John Mahama has visited the burnt-out petrol station and appealed for calm as the authorities try to cope with the aftermath of the fire and the flooding.

He praised the rescue workers for the lives they had saved but said he was lost for words to express his feelings for those who had died.                                                                    BBC