LAGOS, Nigeria — An explosion at a gas station in Ghana’s capital killed at least seven people and injured more than 130 others on Saturday, government officials and news reports said.
Videos on social media showed giant balls of flames that set the night sky aglow.
According to one witness, Susan Ebetaleye, 22, a student at the University of Ghana, a fire started at a gas station in the capital, Accra, and then spread to another station nearby. She said there was an explosion that engulfed at least one tanker.
At least 132 people were injured, according to a statement released by the government and cited by local news media. Most of the injured suffered burns, Billy Anaglate, a fire service spokesman, said Sunday, according to Reuters.
He said the cause of the explosions was still being investigated.
“There was some panic, and we all just moved away from the scene,” George Agbey, who was near the explosion, told The Associated Press. “It was like refugees moving away from a war-torn zone.”
Abu Ramadan, an official with the National Disaster Management Organization, told JoyNews late Saturday that emergency responders had not been able to gain access to a convenience store at the gas station, and that it was unclear whether anyone was inside.
By late Saturday, officials said the fire was about 95 percent contained and no longer posed a threat.
Ebetaleye said that the heat of the explosion could be felt in nearby student housing at the University of Ghana.
“The explosion shook the buildings,” she said, adding. “There were several accidents as students and cars were all moving to safety.”
The deputy information minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, confirmed that a “significant number” of people had been affected by the explosion.
On Twitter, Accra city officials warned of an explosion in the Legon and Madina areas. Broadcast news reports showed scenes of destruction and some flames as onlookers milled about.
Nkrumah and the national security minister, Albert Kan Dapaa, visited the scene Saturday. Hundreds of residents in the area, which includes a section of the main campus of the university, are said to have fled their homes following the explosion.
The explosion is at least the second to rock the capital since 2015. Another explosion at a gas station in the center of Accra killed about 100 people in June of that year.