Two separate disasters — one an explosion in the Western Region and the other fish poisoning in the Volta Region — have led to the death of seven persons.
In the Western Region, two persons were burnt to death while a third person died at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in a road accident which resulted in the explosion of two vehicles at Kikam in the Ellembelle District last Wednesday, while, in the Volta Region, four persons died at the Margaret Marquart Catholic Hospital in Kpando following the consumption of alleged poisonous fish.
The Kikam incident, which took place about 7.30 p.m., involved a mini bus, with registration number CR 2487 – Y, and a Toyota Corolla with registration number, AS 8778-17.
The police suspect that one of the vehicles was using an improvised liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tank which exploded.
The deceased persons were burnt beyond recognition before the arrival of an emergency response team from the Ghana National Fire Service.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the Ellembelle District Police Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mr Thomas Bayor, said the two vehicles were heading towards Esiama from Takoradi.
The mini bus had three persons on board, including the driver and his mate, who were identified as Kwasi Inkoom and Kwame Akwedu, respectively.
The third person, a woman who boarded the vehicle at Agona-Nkwanta, is yet to be identified, while the driver of the private vehicle, identified by the police as Kwesi Ackom is in a critical condition at the St. Martin de Porres Hospital, Ekwei also in the Ellembelle District .
Mr Bayor said the driver of the mini bus, which was carrying some goods from Half-Assini to the Central Region, was rushed to the Axim Government Hospital for medical attention but was immediately transferred to the Western Regional Referral Hospital at Effiakwanta, from where, because of the high degree of the injuries, he was transferred to the Burns Unit of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.
He said the driver’s account indicated that the driver of the Corolla crossed him so unexpectedly at Kikam that he (driver of mini bus) could not control his vehicle.
According to the police commander, if the driver of the Corolla had kept to the speed lane, the accident would have been avoided.
He said three persons were in the mini bus but the police were yet to check if the private car was also carrying passengers at the time of the accident.
“We were told the driver escaped unhurt but he is yet to report himself to us to tell us his side of the story to help us in our investigations,” he said.
In the poisonous fish incident, apart from the four people who died, three others are on admission at the hospital, while nine others who also ate the fish were treated and discharged.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, the Administrator of the Margaret Marquart Catholic Hospital, Mr Hanson Torde, disclosed that about two weeks ago, 12 people were rushed to the hospital from Alavanyo and they were diagnosed of food poisoning.
After interrogation, it came out that the patients had consumed a type of fish called ‘Gede’ in Ewe which is said to be poisonous.
According to him, three out of the 12 died, while the other nine were treated and discharged.
He said last Wednesday the hospital received a similar case involving a family of four from Gbefi who had also consumed the said fish, with one dying immediately the patients got to the hospital.
The other three, he added, were on admission, receiving treatment.
Mr Torde said the patients said they suffered stomach upset after consuming the said fish.
Samples of the fish retrieved from the family had been handed over to the police for further investigations.
Meanwhile, the Volta Regional Director of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Mr Eugene Addo, has confirmed that his outfit had received information about the incident and taken samples of the fish for preliminary investigations.
“‘We cannot confirm for now whether the fish we have is poisonous, as is being alleged. We need to do further analysis to ascertain the truth or otherwise of the matter,” he said.
He called for calm while his outfit conducted its investigations.
Some people in fishing communities have reportedly described the fish they called ‘puffer fish’ and ‘poponawoe’ in Ewe as highly poisonous.