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Dozens Seek Shelter From Rain, Then Gas Station Explodes

At least 73 dead in Accra, Ghana
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 4, 2015 5:24 AM CDT
Ghana Gas Station Blast Kills 73
The explosion occurred near the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in the center of Accra.   (YouTube)

(Newser) – A gas station in Ghana's capital blew up while many people were sheltering there from a torrential rainfall and flooding, killing at least 73 people and leaving a gruesome scene with charred bodies and neighboring buildings set alight, authorities say. A spokesman for Ghana's fire service says crews were recovering bodies early today at the scene in Accra. The cause of the overnight explosion was not immediately known. Neighbors said many people had gone to the station amid heavy flooding in the area.

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Graphic footage aired on national television early today showed corpses being piled into the back of a pickup truck and other charred bodies trapped amid the debris. Neighboring buildings that had caught fire burned into the night as floodwaters around the site hampered recovery efforts. "Many people took shelter under a shed at the station during a severe rain across the country and got trapped when the explosion happened," a nearby resident says. Heavy rain has "brought much of the city to its knees," with roads blocked off and hundreds of people trapped in offices, says the BBC's Accra correspondent. (Read more Ghana stories.)

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