Story: Samuel Duodu, Techiman
Tarko, a suburb of the Techiman municipality in the Brong-Ahafo Region, was thrown into a state of mourning and despair when a 13-year-old Primary Three pupil of the Techiman Zongo Local Authority Primary School was burnt to death last Thursday evening when a fuel tanker that had fallen into a ditch exploded and busted into flames.
The tanker went into the ditch after being hit at the rear by a tipper truck loaded with sand. At the time of the explosion the victim and others were drawing petrol from the tanker.
The Primary Three pupil, whose name was only given as Akeem, was said to have closed from school and, in the company of other children, he went to the scene of the accident at Tarko to draw some of the fuel that was dripping out of the tanker.
According to eyewitnesses, nine other people, including three children, namely, Johnson Amponsah, 12, a Primary Four pupil; Enoch Owusu Gyamfi, 14, of the Ahmadiyya Junior High School, and Fred Obideaba of the Seventh-Day Adventist School, also sustained severe burns.
The children, including the four adults who sustained injuries, are currently on admission at the Techiman Holy Family Hospital.
The tanker driver, Godwin Obeng, who sustained a minor injury, said the tanker was loaded with petrol from Tema to Tamale and it was hit at the back by the tipper truck when it attempted to overtake the tanker at Tarko.
The accident attracted many people to the scene, including children, some of whom began to draw the fuel when a towing truck was called in to remove the tanker from the ditch.
In the process of towing the tanker from the ditch, it fell back into the ditch and burst into flames which resulted in Akeem’s death and injury to the nine people who were said to be part of the people who were drawing the fuel from the tanker.
Fire men from the Techiman Fire Service Station who had been called to the scene took an hour to put out the flames, by which time the tanker had been burnt beyond recognition.