A view shows the crater after a vehicle carrying mining explosives detonated in Apiate, Ghana, on Friday. Reuters
At least 13 people were killed and scores injured when a truck carrying explosives to a gold mine in western Ghana detonated, flattening a rural community, the police said on Friday.
Smouldering timber and torn-up sheet metal marked where hundreds of houses had stood in Apiate, a settlement about 200 km (130 miles) west of the capital Accra. Thursday's blast left a crater roughly 20 meters (66 ft) wide. Doors and roofs were blown off other buildings, a Reuters reporter at the scene said.
Rescue workers combed the site while excavators dug through the larger piles of dirt and debris.
"We've seen damage to lives and property here that is just indescribable," said Daniel Adu-Gyamfi, a student from a nearby mining college who came to volunteer with the response team.
Residents stand in front of houses destroyed after the explosion in Apiate. Reuters
"Yesterday ... you could see human remains all over the place."
About 180 people were injured by the explosion, police said.
In a video apparently filmed by a bystander in Apiate, people can be seen walking towards a fire on the side of the road when a powerful explosion ripped through the settlement.
It was not immediately clear what caused the accident. Police said a motorcycle crashed into the truck, then caught fire, and a government statement suggested a roadside power transformer could have played a role.
The truck was owned by a Spanish company called Maxam that was transporting explosives to the Chirano gold mine, run by Toronto-based Kinross Gold Corporation, police said.
A view shows debris of houses after a vehicle carrying mining explosives detonated in Apiate, Ghana. Reuters
The ministry of lands and natural resources said in a statement that Maxam would be suspended from manufacturing, transporting or supplying explosives for mining operations pending the outcome of investigations into the incident.
The ministry also ordered the suspension of Ghana's chief inspector of mines, who is responsible for supervising explosives use in the sector.
Maxam, which has 140 subsidiaries operating in more than 50 countries, has not responded to requests for comment.
Kinross said it planned to provide support to the response efforts and relief items to those affected.
Kwesi Ofori, director of public affairs for the Ghana Police Service, told reporters earlier on Friday that the transport of the explosives had followed proper procedure, and the truck had a police escort.
Police are treating the site as a crime scene while they investigate, he said, without providing details.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed heartfelt condolences to Ghana and families of the victims and wished the injured a speedy recovery.
The blast occurred on Thursday at the Chenjiagang Industrial Park in the city of Yancheng, in Jiangsu province, and the fire was finally brought under control at 3.00am on Friday (1900 GMT), state television said.
Fifteen others were also wounded in the attack near Yadud village, some seven kilometres (four miles) outside the provincial capital of Daraa city, the Britain-based monitor said.
He pointed out that prudence and consultations with authorities shall prevent them from falling prey into scams that would also put a stop to the pervasiveness of the crime.
Shishimarin, a Russian sergeant, admitted earlier in court to killing 62-year-old Oleksandr Shelipov in the first days of the Kremlin's offensive in north-east Ukraine.
Preliminary investigation revealed that fire was a result of a gas cylinder explosion in the restaurant.