“The reports that I’m getting from the bureaus, hospitals, is that [there are] roughly about 17 people that have passed away,” Isaac Dasmani, the municipal chief executive for the Prestea Huni-Valley Municipal Assembly, told local media.
An additional 59 people were injured in the explosion, according to AFP.
The blast appeared to have completely leveled Apiate, a small town in western Ghana. Kwadwo Bempah, who works in the area and heard the explosion, told CNN that nearly every building there had collapsed, trapping people and animals under rubble.
“It is a real tragedy for Ghana,” Bempah said.
Police said most of the victims have been rescued and admitted to various hospitals and clinics. No more details were released on their condition.
“The police and other emergency service providers have activated a full emergency recovery exercise,” a police statement said. “We urge all to…