Today in History, exactly 5 years ago on June 3, 2015, Ghana experienced the worst flood disaster with the combination of a fire Outbreak at Kwame Nkrumah circle in Accra that claimed the lives of 154 people and left scores of others injured, some victims are still nursing injuries which is referred to us June 3 disaster.
June 3, 2015 marked a black day in the history of Ghana, as rainfall turned into a devastating fire and flood catastrophe. 154 people died and hundreds suffered severe burns resulting in permanent physical disabilities which severely undermines their suitability for the job market.
The June 3 disaster in Accra is the worst in the county’s history and it exposed the deficiencies in the planning and development of the capital city.
Properties running into millions of cedis were lost to the floods and fire.
Though some of the victims received compensation from the state but others indicate that they have been abandoned and neglected since the incident happened.
In the early evening of June 3, 2015 there was a rainfall in Accra that lasted some few hours. The rain, which started as any normal rainfall was intense, affecting most parts of Accra but wrecking a heavy toll at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle and its environs.
As pictures of the havoc began to show on television, the entire nation was thrown into a state of shock and mourning when it emerged that the flood had forced the release of fuel (petrol) onto the surface of the flood water and thereby starting a huge fire. This incident is commonly referred to as “THE TWIN DISASTER”, because for many people it is still unexplained and a mystery for fire to burn on top of water.
On that faithful Wednesday at about 1830Hours a period considered as the “rush hour” when most workers were making their way back home, a bright weather gave way to gloomy and dark rain clouds which in no time resulted in a heavy down pour. Quite naturally, people begun to take refuge at locations they deemed safe and secure. Little did it occur to some of these people that they were only “ jumping from frying pan to fire” when they decided to take shelter at a Goil filling station near the GCB tower at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle.
The intensity of the rains coupled with poor and choked drainage system, low lying nature of the area, and indiscriminate citing of structures resulted in the flooding. One eye witness who was watching from the second floor of a story building said, the flood waters at the filling station and its surrounding areas was not only about four feet high above ground level, but also smelt of fuel. “In no time, I saw a flame of fire rushing from a particular direction and spreading quickly across the entire area within a matter of seconds” he recounted. Neither persons taking shelter, vehicles parked at the fuel station nor staff of the station was able to escape from the fire.
At the end of the day, which moved through the stages of firefighting and rescue, search and rescue, and search and recover, 154 people were reported dead, making it the worst disaster to have ever hit Ghana.
JUSTICE FOR JUNE 3RD VICTIMS – J4J3 CAMPAIGN
On 2nd June 2017, two years after the disaster; the OneGhana Movement, in accordance with its citizen responsibility and policy accountability objectives, launched the “Justice 4 June 3 (J4J3)” Campaign, to pursue justice for victims of the June 3 avoidable disaster. The major objectives of this “Justice 4 June 3 project” are to secure equitable compensation for victims, and to hold corporations, public officials and institutions accountable for their actions and inactions.
The victims and the OneGhana Movement have since through their lawyers, (Darko, Keli-Delataa & Co.) and (A-Partners @ Law), commenced a class action suit against Ghana Oil (GOIL), National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and the Accra Metropolitan Authority (AMA) for their complicity in the disaster.