Ghana gas explosion 'kills five' in Accra

A burnt gas tanker. Image copyright David
Image caption Two bolts, which were supposed to secure the lid of the gas tanker, were reportedly missing

At least five people have died and dozens injured in an explosion at a gas filling station in Ghana's capital, Accra, according to local media.

The explosion had been caused by "irresponsible human error", the National Petroleum Authority, (NPA) said.

The NPA said two bolts which should have "tightened the lid" of the gas tanker were missing, Joy News reports.

Witnesses said they heard a loud bang and saw flames billowing into the sky.

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Injured persons were reported to have suffered severe burns and have been sent to the hospital.

Several images of charred bodies from the explosion have been shared on social media.

The NPA, which had inspected the site, blamed the fire on a "fully loaded" gas tanker that was discharging Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG).

NPA head Moses Asaga told local radio station Joy FM that "The pressure built up and because the lid was not tight, the pressure was able to force the lid open."

"It came out like a missile... and that is why it spewed out 200 meters into the Labadi Trade Fair site and caused the fire.

Image copyright David
Image caption Some electricity cables reportedly caught fire causing a black-out in the area

Local media reports say the explosion occurred at 18:00 local time on Thursday and it took fire officers several hours to bring the fire under control.

There had also been a black-out in the area - where a national exhibition centre and a university are located - as some electricity cables reportedly, caught fire.

The tragedy has raised renewed concerns over the location of fuel stations, many of which can be found close to residential areas.

In a Facebook post, Ghana's incoming President Nana Akufo-Addo called for a "second look" at the location of gas stations in the country and "strict enforcement" of safety regulations to prevent "such avoidable incidents".

Image copyright NAna Akufo-Addo/Facebook

President John Dramani Mahama also took to Twitter to express his condolences to victims.

Image copyright John Mahama/Twitter

In 2015, a deadly explosion at a fuel station in the capital killed more than 150 people.

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