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General News of Thursday, 17 January 2019

Source: Starrfmonline.com

Defense Ministry wants relocation of armour depot

The Defense Ministry is pushing for the relocation of ammunition depots at the various military barracks.

This comes in the wake of the huge fireball explosions at Michel Camp during the wee hours of Wednesday when the weapon cache caught fire.

Security Analyst Adam Bonah said it is foolhardy for citizens to build near military bases.

“If I were a resident in the area, I will advise myself. Civilians shouldn’t build their houses around Military bases,” Mr Bonah told Francis Abban on Morning Starr.

“Unfortunately, there are military bases that have been encroached on and that is not right,” he added.

Commenting on the incident on Starr Today Deputy Defense Minister Major Derrick Oduro (Rtd) said the Ministry would support the relocation of the armoury depots from the bases.

“We don’t want to lose lives or cause destruction and therefore if the government thinks that it can provide funds for the relocation of these ammunition depots to a safer place that will not get closer to any living being that will be better. I highly recommend that.

“The place has been encroached upon and therefore we have to move. You go to Teshie shooting range, people have encroached and it’s in town now so there’s the need for us to move that range further to a non-residential area,” he said.

Running for their lives

Residents say the explosions were at the Base Ammunition Depot of the Ghana Armed Forces and multiple blasts could be heard for over an hour.

Most of the residents, who were fast asleep, had to run for their lives moments after the explosions at midnight amidst power outage.

“Residents in the bordering communities have to evacuate to safer grounds. People were heading towards Aflao, Tema, Afienya and Apollonia.

“The explosion occurred at a laboratory where small arms are kept and the Fire Service managed to prevent it from spreading to where the highly explosive weapons are kept,” a journalist, Moses Dautey, told Starrfmonline.com.

“I was preparing to sleep at 12 am when I heard a ‘BIG BOOM’. Initially, I thought it was an armed robbery case but the sounds didn’t sound like gunshots either,” a resident told Starr News.

“We were so terrified and had to drive out of our house all the way to Afienya for safety. We could feel the heat from the fire. If the movement of the armoury is cheaper, then it should be relocated,” another resident said.

Your homes are safe, return – Fire service

The Fire Service has given assurance to residents of Michel Camp, who were evacuated from their homes, over the Tuesday night explosion at the military laboratory, to return because their homes are safe now.

Spokesperson of the Fire Service Ernest Robertson Okoh told Morning Starr that his men on the grounds have given clearance to the safety of the area and residents should rest assured of their safety.

“Around 4:30 am, we successfully put out the fire. There were no casualties. If the Michel Camp is not safe, our men on the ground would have returned. I can assure all that the place is safe,” he told Francis Abban on the Morning Starr.