Three persons were killed and others seriously injured during an explosion at the Juaben Oil Mills Limited, at Juaben, in Juaben Municipality of the Ashanti Region, in the late hours of Tuesday.
The deceased, yet to be identified, were said to be two Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) students on industrial attachment and a Tanzanian engineer.
They passed on at the KomfoAnokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), in Kumasi, where they were rushed to for treatment.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Broni Honnu, Juaben District Police Commander, who confirmed the incident to the Ghanaian Times, said the injured were receiving treatment at the Juaben Hospital and one was being treated at KATH.
The Ghanaian Times gathered that the incident happened at about 10:30pm on Tuesday when the boiler machine at the factory was said to have exploded following a mechanical fault.
According to the Supply Chain Manager of the company, Nana Yaw Serebour, six persons were involved in the accident.
He explained that the mechanical fault “resulted in the steam coming out to engulf people who were working beneath.”
Mr Serebour said the specific cause of the accident was unclear, but added that “for the past 40 years that the company has been in operation, nothing of this nature has ever happened.”
He said the company would carry out investigation into the cause of the incident to ensure that “it does not occur in the future.”
Mr Serebour said “We’re undergoing investigations through the various statutory bodies, to ascertain what exactly happened”.
The authorities of Juaben Oil Mills Limited have suspended operations at the facility following the incident.
The company was incorporated in 1981 as an agro processing company, located at Juaben in the Juaben Municipal in the Ashanti Region.
A boiler, also called steam generator, is a machine designed to convert liquid to vapour.
In a conventional steam power plant, a boiler consists of a furnace in which fuel is burned, and heat transmitted from the combustion products to the water, and has a space for the formation and collection of steam.
FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, JUABEN