What the June 3rd disaster taught me.

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I was in class when we heard the news. I was in class with 35 other girls, some of whom had parents in Accra where the incident happened. Now it’s called the June 3rd disaster. Sometimes, being in boarding school can be a pain. We didn’t have access to the news except the bits and pieces we got from the newspapers that come in quite late. Our teachers were our only sources of information at the time. My English teacher showed the whole class pictures of the incident on her phone. We saw the numerous burnt cars which had people in them. We saw the charred bodies of people who were once aunties and uncles. We saw the black distorted Shell filling station with the cars and buses that went to take shelter there. We saw things that made some girls cry.

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“Miss Davis, how many bodies have been found now?”

“150. But don’t worry. Just keep praying for your families.”

Oh like it’s easy to stay calm when you have no idea if any of your family members is part of the number. Why the hell can we only call home on weekends? It was frustrating for my friends and I. The disaster happened at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Accra. Over 250 people lost their lives when they happened. Yes, I said they because first, there was a flood that was already claiming lives and then there was the Shell gas explosion that made matters even worse.

Imagine walking home from school and seeing that the streets are flooded so you try to take shelter in a gas station only to have the station blow up as a result of the negligence of the city authorities. That’s what happened to countless school children, workers, teachers, mothers and fathers on their way home. Those who were already home were not left out. The depth of the flood was scary. Can I safely say it was higher than a double-decker bus? Those who were home had to deal with, not only the flood but, the heat of the water from the explosion. Some survived to tell the story of how grim it was to swim in the scalding hot water which contained fuel in addition. Others didn’t even know how they made it out alive.

Let me tell you the sore part, there was fire on the surface of the water as a result of the presence of the fuel. People, including babies, had to choose between burning and drowning in the heat. A couple of days later, one kind teacher gave my friend and me his phone to call home and find out about our families. That is totally against the school rules, by the way. Thankfully, all our family members were fine. My mother told me that my father didn’t come home that night because he also took shelter in another Shell gas station. That was when I cried.

I cried because my father could have been a part of those bodies that were burnt beyond recognition. I thanked God that where my dad was didn’t explode but then I cried for the other children like sixteen year old me or even younger who had lost their parents in such a tragic manner.  It taught me that every day is a blessing. It taught me that life can easily take a wrong turn so we need to appreciate those around us. I realised, very painfully, that our authorities only wait for some people to die before they take action and that angers me and scares me as well. June 3rd, 2015 is a day Ghanaians won’t forget especially those who have scars and deformities that remind them daily.

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This is in response to Gracie‘s request that bloggers share with her events that have affected the way they live their lives. It’s a pity mine has to be so gloomy.

23 thoughts on “What the June 3rd disaster taught me.

  1. gracie chick says:

    This is amazing storytelling. I am so sorry you had to go through this. Thank you so much for sharing, I’ll include it in a post when I get the chance. Thanks again and I’m so glad that all of your family were safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. hugo839 says:

    i was in ghana in march and april 2015 and again in december 2016 for 60 days. i visited my gf in berekum and one day we was in accra, walked around and yes i saw that place with all the burned cars. my gf told me about that incident in june 2015. soo much people died, horrible.all the people kids and adults , parents, brothers and sisters. we say in german: scheisse

    Liked by 1 person

  3. hugo839 says:

    yes its a ghanian. i met her at afrointroduction. first i had to find out that she is real and not a scammer. we chatted in yahoo mail , later whatsapp, now imo. shes a sweet woman with family, has a daughter , 7 yrs old. she hided her before, later she told me the truth. that girl is very sweet and i pay the school fees. for my gf i aranged a own business.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. hugo839 says:

    yes, its easy to find out, when i was there, 3 times i met a lot of people. oh a white man in our city. pls can u help me to find a white man the girls asked me. pls can u help me to find a white girl the men asked me.
    but u know it isnt easy. and thats not all.
    when i was there the first time i brought some gifts for the kids, it was overwelmed me how they was to me, never had that before.
    have two godkids in niger, pay all month for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. hugo839 says:

    there was annother girl in sunyani, wanted me too. but i told her, have a gf now in berekum.
    later i informed my gf about that girl in sunyani and viseted her with my gf and her brother..
    she also has a little daughter, sweet and u know first it was her sister, later her daughter when i wanted to know the truth.
    whenever she is in trouble i help her

    Liked by 1 person

  6. hugo839 says:

    and let me say all mothers have to be pride to have the sweet kids. there are time that i wisch i could give a birth to a kis, but impossible, im a man. the feeling to give birth to a kid must be wonderful. i have two kids, six grandkids. my wife died in 2011


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