A timely response by the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) in the early hours of last Wednesday prevented a potential disaster after a speeding train rammed into a fuel tanker at a level crossing in Takoradi.
The fuel tanker — loaded with 45,000 litres of diesel — was moving the product from Sekondi to supply points in parts of the Sekondi-Takoradi twin-city when it developed a mechanical fault and stopped at the level crossing.
Volumes of diesel poured onto the ground in the neighbourhood in New Takoradi.
At the time, the automatic signalling system at the level crossing was not functioning, and there was no signalman around when the tanker developed the fault at the crossing.
Eyewitnesses said as the train approached, the driver of the truck and his mate ran for their dear lives, leaving the truck in the middle of the rail lines.
The Western Regional Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the GNFS, Mr Emmanuel Bonney, told the Daily Graphic that firemen were called in when the crash happened.
He said firemen sprayed the diesel tanker with foam powder to avoid an explosion as disaster loomed.
“The truck driver said he heard the train tooting its horn within moments of the vehicle developing the fault. It was, however, too late for them to repair the defective truck and move it off the path of the speeding train,” he said.
But the near disaster turned to be a boom in business for residents in the neighbourhood as some members of the communities fetched the fuel with containers.
In the midst of the mad rush for the fuel, some tore through the caution tape against the warnings of the police and fire personnel.