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GHANA: Spanish Firm Fined $6M For Truck Explosion That Killed 13

The Spanish company whose truck exploded and killed 13 people last month in Ghana has been fined $6 million by the lands ministry for violating explosive storage and transport laws.

 The truck was transporting explosives for Madrid-based Maxam Corp to the Chirano gold mine, run by Toronto-based Kinross Gold Corporation, when it collided with a motorbike, caught fire and exploded, levelling a roadside village and injuring at least 100 people.

Maxam, in its first statement since the January 21 disaster, denied responsibility, blaming a local contractor. However, the ministry of Lands and Natural Resources it has established regulatory breaches on the part of Maxam in respect to the manufacture, storage and transportation of explosives.

It did not provide specific details about which laws were broken or how they contributed to the accident.

The government gave Maxam a $1 million administrative fine for breaching regulations and imposed a $5 million fee for damages, to be paid out in monthly instalments.

In its statement, Maxam said it had contracted a local company called Arthanns Logistics to transport the explosives.

The code violations were the fault of Arthanns, Maxam said. It said that none of the violations contributed to the explosion but it would pay the fines so it could continue operating.

The lands ministry is also investigating Arthanns Transport Services and another local firm, Jocyderk Logistics for possible ties to the explosion.