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June 3 disaster and other major tragedies that caused unforgettable devastation

Ghana has not been immune to tragedies that have left indelible marks on its collective memory.

June 3 disaster

Ghana reported disasters, including accidents, floods, and storms.

Among these, the June 3 disaster stands out as one of the most catastrophic.

The June 3 disaster, in particular, served as a wake-up call for the nation, prompting government and civil society to advocate for better urban planning, improved drainage systems, and stricter enforcement of safety regulations.

This article delves into the harrowing events of June 3, 2015, and explores other significant tragedies that have profoundly affected the country.

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On the night of June 3, 2015, Accra was struck by a disaster of unprecedented scale.

A combination of heavy rainfall and inadequate drainage systems led to widespread flooding in the city.

As if the deluge wasn't devastating enough, the floods triggered an explosion at a GOIL fuel station at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle.

The blast, fueled by the petrol from the station, caused a massive fire that engulfed the area.

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The calamity resulted in the deaths of at least 150 people, with many others injured and countless properties destroyed.

The victims, who sought refuge at the fuel station to escape the rising floodwaters, were caught in a deadly inferno.

The disaster exposed critical infrastructural deficiencies and sparked nationwide mourning and outrage.

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While the June 3 disaster remains one of the most significant tragedies in Ghana's recent history, the country has experienced other notable disasters, each leaving a lasting impact on its citizens.

The Accra Sports Stadium disaster is another dark chapter in Ghana's history.

On May 9, 2001, during a football match between two of Ghana's most popular teams, Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko, a stampede occurred.

The tragedy was triggered by the firing of tear gas by police in response to unruly behaviour from fans.

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The ensuing panic led to the deaths of 126 people, making it one of the worst stadium disasters in Africa.

This incident highlighted the need for better crowd control measures and emergency response protocols at public events.

On November 7, 2012, tragedy struck when the five-story Melcom shopping complex in Achimota, Accra, collapsed.

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The building's collapse resulted in the deaths of 14 people and injured dozens more.

Rescue efforts were hampered by the structure's instability, and the disaster raised serious questions about building safety standards and regulatory enforcement in Ghana.

On October 7, 2017, another catastrophic explosion occurred at Atomic Junction, near Madina in Accra.

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A liquefied natural gas (LNG) station exploded, causing a secondary blast at a nearby petrol station.

The incident resulted in at least seven deaths and injured over 130 people.

The explosion sent shockwaves throughout the city, reigniting concerns over the safety of fuel stations and the enforcement of safety regulations.

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On March 19, 2017, a freak accident occurred at the Kintampo Waterfalls in the Brong-Ahafo Region.

A group of students visiting the waterfall was caught in a sudden storm, causing trees to fall and resulting in the deaths of 20 students.

This tragedy underscored the importance of safety measures in tourist sites and the need for better emergency preparedness.

The recurrent nature of these disasters highlights the urgent need for comprehensive safety measures, infrastructure improvements, and effective disaster management strategies in Ghana.

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On March 22, 2019, at least 60 people have been killed in a head-on collision between two buses at Kintampo.

Reports stated that two buses from opposite directions crashed head-on and caught fire.

The registration numbers of the buses have been given as GT 5694 18, a KIA Grand Bird bus, and GT 3916 17, an ANKAI VVIP bus. They both had over 50 passengers on board.

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Over 3,000 people in Keta municipality have been rendered homeless after tidal waves swept through their homes on Sunday, November 7, last year.

The residents in the Anlo district, Keta, and Ketu South Municipalities were displaced by flooding.

The affected residents, mainly children, and women have their residential abodes destroyed.

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Livestock, farmlands, and buildings among others were also destroyed. The residents have no place to sleep and no food to cook. Some of them sleep by the road, under trees.

At least 13 are reported to have died when an unfortunate disaster happened at Apiate in the Bogoso District of the Western Region after a motorcycle collided with a vehicle carrying explosives.

The huge explosion disaster happened on Thursday, January 20, 2022, when a vehicle transporting explosives from Kumasi to a mining site in the area exploded.

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An additional 59 people sustained various degrees of injuries in the explosion.

Most of the victims have been rescued and admitted to various hospitals and clinics.

The spillage of the Akosombo dam was necessitated by exceptionally heavy rainfall, which raised water levels in the dam beyond safe operational limits.

The Volta River Authority (VRA) began the controlled release of water from the dam on September 15, 2023, to prevent potential dam failure.

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This is due to a controlled spillage to address rising water levels.

As a result, around 35,857 people were displaced, with Mepe being one of the hardest-hit areas​ as of October 19, 2023.

7 districts were hit by the floods. Farmlands, houses, and other properties were affected in the Greater Accra, Eastern, and Volta regions.

South Tongu, Central Tongu, North Tongu, Shai Osudoku, Anlo, Ada East and Asuogyaman districts are some of the hardest-hit districts.

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Many houses have been swallowed by the raging floodwaters in communities such as Tefle, Wume, Sokpoe, Alikekope, Agorme, and Agbave among others.

Notable hospitality facilities affected by the floods include Villa Cisneros, Sogakope Beach Resort and Spa, and Holy Trinity Spa and Health Farm.

At least 25 nurses were evacuated.

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Email: eyewitness@pulse.com.gh

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