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An explosion ripped through a petrol station in Ghana, killing at least 90 people and leaving a gruesome scene with charred bodies and neighbouring buildings burning through the night.

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The blast was caused when flood water washed stored fuel into a nearby fire while the victims were sheltering from torrential rain in the capital, Accra, officials said today.

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‘This loss of life is catastrophic and almost unprecedented,’ a visibly shaken President John Dramani Mahama said at the scene. ‘A lot of people have lost their lives and I am lost for words.’

Graphic footage aired on national television also showed bodies being piled into the back of a pick-up truck and other charred remains trapped amid the debris, with the flood water waist deep.

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