A large explosion at a gas station in the Ghanaian capital of Accra has killed at least 200 people, most of whom were taking shelter at the station due to rain, according to reports from the country.
The Goil Filling Station at the Nkrumah Circle in Accra caught fire after an explosion on Wednesday night during torrential rain.
Nearly 40 people have been hospitalised following the explosion.
The cause of the explosion has not been identified yet. However, eyewitnesses said that the blast was a result of petrol spilling on the surface of the flooding water, which caught fire from a nearby trading centre.
A witness said that many people took shelter at the station because of widespread flooding, that had paralyzed public transport.
The blast came amidst flooding caused by the torrential showers, with rescue crews also working to save those trapped in buildings and vehicles due to the flooding.
Ghanaian President John Mahama, who visited the scene of the explosion, appealed for calm from the country’s people and has announced a three-day period of national mourning.
The announcement came after a national emergency security council meeting held at the Flagstaff House on Thursday afternoon, chaired by Mahama.
"The loss of life is catastrophic and almost unprecedented. We will have to take some measures to avoid this from happening in the future," he said.
Hundreds remain trapped by flood waters across the city.
The government has also released an amount of 60 million cedis ($15 million) to support victims affected by the explosion.