A Mining Engineer, Mr. Theophilus Dzimegah has said it is too early to interdict the Chief Inspector of Mines following the explosion that occurred at Appiatse near Bogoso in the Western Region.
Following the explosion, the Minister of Land and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, directed the Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, with immediate effect, to suspend the registration of Maxam Company Limited with the Minerals Commission, thereby precluding the company from manufacture, transportation and/or supply of explosives for mining operations, pending the outcome of the investigations into this disaster.
“The Minister also, on 21st January 2022 directed the Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission to interdict the Chief Inspector of Mines with immediate effect, pending the outcome of the ongoing investigations into the tragic event which took place at Apiate,” a statement said.
The statement indicated that the Chief Inspector of Mines is responsible for for the supervision of the manufacture , storage, transportation and use of explosives for mining and mine support services.
The Police said its preliminary investigation established that a mining explosive vehicle moving from Tarkwa to Chirano mines collided with a motorcycle resulting in the explosion.
“Reference to our earlier emergency public notice, the Police have taken charge of the situation providing security to enable the emergency workers including the Ghana National Fire Service , NADMO and the Ambulance Service to manage the situation.
“The public has been advised to move out of the area to nearby towns for their safety while recovery efforts are underway.An appeal is also being made to nearby towns to open up their classrooms, churches etc to accommodate surviving victims.
“Meanwhile, preliminary investigation has established that a mining explosive vehicle moving from Tarkwa to Chirano mines collided with a motorcycle resulting in the explosion. Most of the victims have been rescued and are on admission at various hospitals and clinics within the Bogoso Municipality.
Thirteen people have so far died in relation to this accident.
Speaking to journalists on Friday January 21, the Director General, Public Affairs Directorate of the Police Service, ACP Kwasi Ofori said “It was misreported that they were dead but when they were taken to the hospital, the medical officers certified that they were not clinically dead and as such they were admitted and treatment is ongoing. So it is 13 and we should take note of that.”
But speaking on the Key Points with Dzifa Bampoh on TV3 /3FM Saturday January 22, Mr Dzimegah said “We have not done enough education and sensitisation. If we had done that lives would not have been lost as as we have it.
“In my opinion, I feel it is too early for the Chief Inspector of Mining to be interdicted. Chief Inspector of Mining position has since independence, not been political, it has survived all governments.
“The Chief Inspector of Mines has a duty in carrying out investigations into these accidents. If a committee is formed to investigate, the Chief Inspector of Mines cold be asked to step aside but to interdict him at this stage in my opinion is too early.”