Gas ex­plo­sion, flood­ing have claimed 150 lives

Los Angeles Times - - THE WORLD -

The death toll in Ghana from a gas sta­tion ex­plo­sion in the cap­i­tal and from wide­spread flood­ing has grown to 150 peo­ple, the na­tion’s pres­i­dent said.

Pres­i­dent John Dra­mani Ma­hama told jour­nal­ists that Ghana would ob­serve three days of mourn­ing and that the gov­ern­ment would al­lo­cate about $12 mil­lion for re­lief op­er­a­tions and to re­pair dam­aged in­fra­struc­ture.

Of­fi­cials said the ex­plo­sion in Ac­cra oc­curred af­ter flood­ing swept fuel from the gas sta­tion into a nearby fire. The blast took place as dozens of peo­ple sought shel­ter at the gas sta­tion from tor­ren­tial rain.

The deaths are likely to in­ten­sify crit­i­cism of the gov­ern­ment’s fail­ure to im­prove the coun­try’s in­fra­struc­ture. Though the down­pours this week have been es­pe­cially bad, heavy rains in June are not un­usual, yet drainage sys­tems in Ac­cra re­main in­ad­e­quate.

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