About twenty-five persons were reported dead and over 50 others sustained various degrees of injury when a petrol tanker caught fire leading to its explosion at Asiayem near Tanoso in the Techiman Municipality of the Brong Ahafo Region.
The incident occurred yesterday at about 7.00am when the tanker, in an attempt to negotiate a curve, veered off the road and fell into a ditch.
Reports said the casualties may rise especially with the magnitude of the blast.
Many of the deceased including women and schoolchildren were residents of Tanoso and neighbouring villages who had rushed to the accident scene to scoop the petrol that was gushing out of the tanker.
They were burnt beyond recognition.
As news went round that a petrol tanker was involved in an accident with its contents spilling, residents of Tanoso and surrounding villages trooped to the location in their numbers with buckets, cans and other receptacles with which they collected some of the petrol.
An eyewitness who spoke to DAILY GUIDE indicated that he saw the tanker smoking when it fell on its side and warned those who were siphoning the fuel to stay away; but they did not heed the warning.
He said he then decided to run away from the site but even before he could get far, he heard an explosion, after which the emanating fire consumed those who were siphoning the petrol.
The eyewitness disclosed that a military officer who alighted from his vehicle to help those in pain was also engulfed by the fire together with his wife.
Because of the length of the spread of fire, the Fire Service and Police were, as at press time, still combing the surrounding areas in search of possible casualties who might have perished in their attempt to escape the inferno.
The Techiman Divisional Police Commander, Superintendent Solomon K. Ntim said the bodies of the deceased were burnt beyond recognition and had been deposited at the hospital.
He said the identity of the tanker driver, who also sustained serious injuries and is currently on admission at the Holy Family Hospital, was not yet known.
Prince Yaw Donyina, Techiman Municipal Chief Executive, who visited the scene of the inferno, expressed his dismay as this was the second accident in a month in the municipality that had claimed many lives.
A similar incident was reported in the area about six months ago in which five people died.
When DAILY GUIDE visited the accident spot, several charred bodies were being conveyed to the Holy Family Hospital at Techiman.
The Tanoso and Afrancho townships were thrown into a state of mourning as people searched for their relatives. The Holy Family Hospital was crowded as people had rushed there in search of their loved ones.
From Eric Bawah, Tanoso