The village flattened by a truck explosion

This is the scale of devastation in Apiate - a rural community in Ghana flattened when a truck carrying explosives detonated.

Police say at least 13 people were killed and around 180 injured.

Hundreds of buildings reduced to piles of wood, rubble and twisted metal - and a yawning crater marking the epicenter of the blast.

Daniel Adu-Gyamfi, a student from a nearby mining college, says he rushed to the scene when the explosion happened on Thursday (January 19).

"... and you could see human remains all over the place. The epicentre of the damage still remains a huge crater over there with no traces of the vehicle over there. The damage is beyond comparison."

It is not entirely clear what caused the explosion.

Police say a motorcycle crashed into the truck and caught fire; a government statement said a roadside power transformer could have been involved.

The truck was owned by Spanish company Maxam, which was transporting explosives to the Chirano gold mine, run by Toronto-based Kinross Gold Corporation, according to police.

Maxam has not responded to requests for comment. Kinross said it planned to provide support to the response efforts and relief items to those affected.

The ministry of lands and natural resources said Maxam had been suspended from manufacturing, transporting and supplying explosives for mining operations pending the outcome of investigations.

Though police also said the transportation of explosives had followed proper procedure and that the truck had a police escort.

The death toll also could have been much worse.

Police spokesperson Kwesi Ofori said there was a pause between the collision and the explosion giving the driver time to tell the community they were in danger.

Teachers in a nearby school were among the first informed, meaning they had time to evacuate their children.

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