The special 3-member adhoc committee set up to independently investigate circumstances leading to the explosion that devoured the entire Appiatse township has presented its findings to the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel A. Jinapor in Accra.
The committee among others was tasked to investigate the extent to which those involved complied or failed to comply with regulations relating to the conveyance, storage, possession, manufacture and use of explosives for mining, quarrying and civil works.
The regulator of the mining sector, the Minerals Commission, previously presented a preliminary report on the accident to the minister preceding the committee’s findings which is expected to corroborate it or otherwise.
Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Benjamin Aryee, a former Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission who presented the report said, the Minerals Commission after the inicident carried out its investigations, in accordance with the Minerals and Mining (Explosives) Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2177), and submitted a preliminary report to the Minister.
According to him the Committee in its work visited the Appiatse community and interacted with the chiefs and people of the community, eyewitnesses and those involved in the incident including the truck driver, the police escort, the driver of the escort vehicle, among others.
Mr Aryee stated that officials of the companies involved in the transportation including Maxam Ghana Limited, where the explosives were being transported from were also contacted whiles the log books of Maxam and police reports at various police stations were inspected and reviewed.
The chairman expressed the committee’s report fairly represents the facts per the information gathered and the documents reviewed and accordingly made some recommendations for the consideration of the Minister.
Mr Samuel Jinapor thanked the Committee for the effort they put in to get the report ready within a short period and assured the report will be reviewed as soon as possible, and the necessary recommendations implemented once satisfied.
According to the Minister, the Terms of Reference of the Committee was limited to compliance with mining regulations and stated that “the investigations and the report, are without prejudice to any criminal culpability that may arise from the investigations being undertaken by the security agencies, nor does it constitute a bar to any civil liability that may arise”.
He expressed confidence in the security services to carry out criminal investigations and take appropriate actions.
Mr. Jinapor also said in addition to rebuilding the community, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is committed to ensuring that anyone found culpable is made to face the full rigours of the law whiles assuring that Government, through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, will take immediate action on the Report.
Other members of the Committee were Mr. Peter Awuah, the Technical Director on Mines at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, and Mr. Cletus Alengah, a Lawyer and Special Assistant to the Minister.
The Appiatse explosion claimed some thirteen (13) lives and rendered several people homeless.