President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Monday visited the scene of the tragic gas explosion at Atomic Junction, which claimed seven lives and left as many as 132 injured.
Distraught by the spectacle, the President said such troubling incidents should not be allowed to occur in the country again, reiterating governments’ resolve to find ways of mitigating such avoidable happenings.
The President’s mood became gloomy when he discovered that a member of the Presidential Press Corps, a cameraman of NET2 TV, was one of the seven people who lost their lives as a result of the explosion.
Mohammed Ashiley Yakubu, 37, according to reports, fell from the Atomic Junction overpass leading to Madina near Accra whilst filming the gas explosion last Saturday night. The explosion jolted him from his perch atop the overpass, sending him crashing onto the road beneath.
His body was conveyed from the scene to the Police Hospital morgue, unknown to his employers, the Kencity Media. But after calls to his phone went unanswered for sometime, the management of the company went searching for him only to discover that he had become a casualty of the incident.
President Akufo-Addo, who had just returned from visiting victims of the explosion at the Accra Regional Hospital, Ridge, shortly after seeing the site of the explosion, met with a delegation from the Kencity Media, operators of NET2 TV and Oman FM, and the family of the late correspondent at the Flagstaff House.
Managing Director of Kencity Media, Stella Agyepong told the President that the deceased, who heard of the gas explosion on Saturday evening, left the office on his motorbike to cover the news.
But the deceased did not return, compelling management of the station to start searching for him at a number of clinics and hospitals, where victims of the gas explosion were sent, only to discover his body on Sunday at the morgue.
The President said the demise of the correspondent was unfortunate since he met his untimely death in the line of duty.
“It’s very painful; that’s too bad,” he said, adding that, he would not leave the burden of the burial and funeral rites of the late Mohammed to his family because” he worked for me”.
Mr Mohammed Ashiley Yakubu, who was a Muslim, would be buried tomorrow, October 10, 2017, according to Islamic rites.
President Akufo-Addo, who was touring the Northern region when the explosion happened, said such incidents ought not to occur again and asked industry players to make adjustments, to be able to guarantee the safety and security of people to prevent similar situations in the future.
“We pray for their souls, and we pray for their families, that the Almighty will give them comfort and strength in these trying times,” he said.
Saturday evening’s incident, lit the skyline in the eastern part of Accra, destroying property and vehicles in and around the Mansco Gas Filling Point at the Atomic Junction, adjacent a Total service station, sending motorists, pedestrians, hawkers, food vendors and residents fleeing for their lives.