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Shama: Four dead, many missing in blast at Chinese-owned quarry

Four people have been confirmed dead with many others still missing after an explosion at a quarry site owned by Chinese company Omni Quarries in Shama in the Western Region on Sunday dawn.

It was not immediately clear what caused the blast, which destroyed buildings near the quarry in Shama district and left rubble strewn across swathes of agricultural land.

Many night shift workers said to be Ghanaian and Chinese nationals have been burnt, some beyond recognition.

The explosion, occurred at about 00:30 GMT.

Explosives, reportedly being kept at an unstructured storage without permit detonated and killed the workers, Graphic Online’s Dotsey Koblah Aklorbortu reports.

The district chief executive for Shama, Ebenezer Dadzie said efforts were underway to rescue those missing and also assess the extent of damage.

He said the District Security Council was yet to put a number to the injured and fatalities.

Graphic Online has however gathered from sources that the company was storing the explosives illegally without the permission of the Minerals Commission contrary to the law governing the acquisition, storage and use of explosives.

A source close to the company said, the explosion did not occur in the process of blasting but rather the yet to be used explosives kept in a room which is not a structured storage explosive magazine.

It said the casualties were workers who were on a night shift and were busy going about their routine activities at that time of the explosion.

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