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General News of Friday, 26 January 2001

Source: GNA

Explosive kills two brothers at beach prayer meeting

A beach prayer camp service turned tragic for the Tema Community Five branch of the Church of Brotherhood when two sons of the assistant pastor were instantly killed by a device that exploded at the Halcrow Beach in Ghana last Friday.

Gabriel Banini, a 28-year-old radio mechanic who had visited his father from Ho, and his 14-year-old brother, Charles Banini, a student, decided to take a walk along the beach but were found dead after the explosion.

Their father, Pastor John Banini, who was present at the beach, and the Reverend Theodore Kwame Duodu, Head Pastor, made a report to the Community Two Police after the incident.

Police Superintendent Mohammed A. Adams, Tema Community Two District Police Commander, who disclosed this to the press, said the church began the prayer camp at the beach on January 17 for the spiritual upliftment of its members.

At about 5.10 p.m. on January 19, while members of the congregation were praying, the two brothers left the group and went towards the Meridian stone, about 120 yards away. They were seen digging through the sand with sticks while walking.

The congregation suddenly heard an explosion followed by smoke in the direction of the boys. They rushed there only to find the two brothers dead in a pool of blood with multiple wounds on their bodies.

Supt. Adams said at the scene of the incident, the police found Gabriel's left arm blown off and his right hand hanging in pieces with his face disfigured. This raised the suspicion that he might have held the explosive, which killed them on the spot.

After carrying out normal police procedures, the police invited military ballistic experts to the scene the next day but their investigations could not establish the type of explosive that killed the Baninis since it was difficult tracing pieces of it.

The police, however, suspected it could be a grenade or dynamite, which the senior one might have tampered with. Supt. Adams said if the explosive was a grenade, then the police suspect that it might have been dumped there by someone who illegally acquired it but realised he could not utilise it any longer.

The dynamite could also come from fishermen who use it illegally for fishing or it could also be some remnants from dynamites used in blasting works at the Tema Port, which were washed ashore by the waves.

Supt. Adams cautioned those who go to the beach to watch out for such explosives to avoid stepping on them or handling them. Meanwhile, the battered bodies of the two, which were deposited at the Tema General Hospital mortuary, have been transferred to the Korle-bu Teaching Hospital for autopsy.

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