Gas Explosion at Atomic Junction, Accra - Message for the University of Ghana Community





Around 7.00 p.m. on Saturday, 7th October, 2017, there was a gas explosion at the MANSCO Gas Filling Station at Atomic Junction, near the University of Ghana, Legon, Accra. The national emergency services responded immediately and are working to confirm the number of casualties arising from the explosion.

The force of the explosion vibrated in the surrounding neighbourhoods, affecting four private hostels on the University of Ghana campus – James Topp Nelson Yankah (TF), Bani, Evandy, and Africa Union (Pentagon). Students fled from their hostels for safety in other halls and with friends and family off-campus. Twenty students who were injured as they fled from their hostels have received treatment at the University Hospital, Legon.  Four of them were detained for further observation.

Senior Management and authorities of the University of Ghana responded immediately after the explosion and did the following:

1.       Organised all University Halls and some other facilities on the campus to accommodate students from TF, Bani, Evandy, and Pentagon hostels.

2.       Visited all Halls in the evening of the incident to ensure that students were safe and that stranded students had been accommodated.

3.       Coordinated with the International Students Hostel and Jubilee Hall management, and International Education Programme Directors, to ensure that all international students were safe and accounted for. 

4.       All restricted access routes to the University were opened to allow all vehicles the use of the University as a thoroughfare. This has helped in easing the traffic build-up around the Atomic Junction.

5.       Placed the University security team on high alert, and provided resources, to address evolving emergencies

The explosion did not cause a fire on the University campus, neither was there loss of life or property on the campus, for which we are grateful.


On Sunday, 8th October, 2017, University Management conducted follow up activities with the Halls, Legon Hospital and other nearby hospitals, student leaders and students to ascertain the status and safety of students who were not accounted for on Saturday and those who fled to safety off-campus.

Official figures released by government indicate that seven (7) people are confirmed dead and over 150 have reported to hospitals with injuries related to the fire and the stampedes thereafter.

I can confirm that most of the affected students are now back in their Hostels. 


Further Arrangements

The following further arrangements have been put in place by management:

a.       In support of the national effort, the TF entrance to the University will remain open for public access until the Atomic Junction is made accessible to vehicular traffic (Tentatively until dusk on Monday, 9th October, 2017).

It is therefore expected that there will be increased vehicular traffic on campus. The UG security team will be on hand to ensure that traffic is properly regulated and does not pose a risk to the community.

b.      The team at the University Hospital is standing by to see any student or staff who has been injured or has fallen ill because of the experience.

c.       The Careers and Counseling Centre and the University Hospital have a team of Counsellors ready to organise group counseling sessions at the Students Clinic, to help affected students deal with the traumatic experience

The group sessions will be on the hour, every hour from Monday to Friday this week.  (9.00 a.m., 10.00 a.m. 11.00 a.m., etc. till 4.00 p.m.).  Those who require individual sessions can also be accommodated, upon request.

d.      Affected students who were unable to participate in Interim Assessment tests (IAs) on Sunday 8th October, 2017, in Spanish, Geography, Information Studies and Philosophy have been officially exempted.  Such students should contact their departments and make themselves known.  Make-up tests will be organized for them.

e.       The University Security team continues to be on high alert.


Management commends all University employees who have been on duty over the weekend.  We especially commend the management of the private hostels and the halls of residence on the campus, as well as the student leadership, for the manner in which they have carried out their duty of care for our students.

Management would like to assure members of the University community, as well as parents and guardians, that the University is confident of the measures put in place by national security and safety teams. We are continuously monitoring the situation and will provide updates on any further developments.


Mercy Haizel-Ashia
Monday, 9th October, 2017