Explosion victims initiate action against govt

Photo Credit: graphic.com.gh

Five years after an explosion at a quarry site at Paebo in the Nsawam-Adoagyiri Municipality in the Eastern Region, 757 residents of the area have initiated a class action against the government and three private entities, seeking compensation of GH¢13.78 million for the injuries they suffered and the destruction of their properties.


The December 23, 2015 explosion killed one person, injured more than 20 people, destroyed many houses and displaced more than 1,200 people.

The class action is being led by three of the residents –Mr Lukman Osman, Mr Ali Ibn E. Chambas and Ms Angela Adu-Poku

In the suit filed at the Human Rights Division of the Accra High Court by their counsel, Mr Chris Osei Yeboah, the plaintiffs accuse the defendants of negligence and for failing to control and regulate the storage of the explosives as stipulated by law.

The defendants include the Attorney-General (A-G), the Minister of the Interior, the Minerals Commission and the Nsawam-Adoagyiri Municipal Assembly.

Other are AKY Mining Services Limited, the company which owned the warehouse which housed the explosives, Alhaji Adam Kofi Yamoah, the Managing Director of AKY Mining Services, and Paebo Quarry Limited, the quarry company.


Apart from the damages, the plaintiffs, also, want the court to ban the defendants from ever using the quarry to store explosives.

They are further seeking interests on all the sums that will be awarded to them by the court until the final payment of their compensation.


It is the case of the plaintiffs that Paebo Quarry illegally allowed AKY Mining Services to construct a warehouse for the storage of explosives.

They also aver that the Minerals Commission, the minister of the interior and the Nsawam-Adoagyiri Municipal Assembly failed in their duty to ensure that the warehouse housing the explosives was constructed in accordance with the stipulated rules and regulations.

Other particulars of negligence filed by the plaintiffs include the illegal use of a mining concession for unapproved storage of explosives, the non-existence of an explosive operating plan and failure to maintain a security and an emergency response plan at the quarry site.

Committee report

The plaintiffs argued that a committee, set up by the minister of the interior to investigate the explosion, established that the warehouse was constructed and was being operated contrary to acceptable standards and laid down regulations.

“Due to the negligence of the defendants, the plaintiffs have suffered various degrees of injury to their person and properties.
Despite repeated demands and meetings with the defendants, the defendants have failed or refused to pay any compensation to the plaintiffs for the damages suffered.

The refusal to pay compensation has caused the plaintiffs very serious economic hardship and embarrassment,” the statement of claim added.

Extension of time

Meanwhile, at the hearing of the case last Thursday, the court, presided over by Justice Gifty Agyei Addo, granted two separate motions by the A-G and the Minerals Commission for an extension of time to file their defence.

The court has, subsequently, ordered the two state institutions to file their defence within 10 days.

Dynamite explosion

The warehouse that exploded was said to contain ammonia and dynamite chemicals.

The explosion affected houses as far as three kilometres away from the quarry site with either the whole or part of the roofings, doors, windows and louvre blades shattered by the explosion of two containers containing ammonia and dynamite chemicals.

Some of the affected buildings sighted by a Daily Graphic team, which visited the area on December 28, 2015, included those of the St Martin’s Senior High School (SHS) and the St Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, both at Adoagyiri, and the Voltic Mineral Water Company at Yawkrom.

The Daily Graphic team saw some of the metals that flew from the explosion and caused damage to roofing sheets, louvre blades and other valuables.

Source: graphic.com.gh


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