Some 150 people have died in a massive fire at a petrol station in Ghana's capital Accra


Pope Sends 'Heartfelt Condolences' Following Ghana Petrol Explosion

Invokes Divine Gifts of Consolation, Strength to Loved Ones

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Following a petrol explosion in Ghana’s capital of Accra which claimed at least 200 lives and injured many others, Pope Francis has sent his “heartfelt condolences” to the victims’ loved ones.

On Wednesday night, a fire started at the petrol station, following two days of people in the city trying to deal with heavy rains which left many without power and homeless. BBC reports that flooding has hampered rescue efforts. On Monday, the African nation will begin a three-day mourning period.

Through a telegram that Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, sent on behalf of the Holy Father to the leader of Ghana’s bishops, Bishop Joseph Osi-Bonsu, Francis said he “commends the souls of the departed to Almighty God” and “invokes the divine gifts of consolation and strength upon those who mourn and upon all who have been affected by this tragedy.”

Below is the full Vatican-provided text of the telegram.


The Right Reverend Joseph Osi-Bonsu


Ghana Bishops’ Conference

Deeply saddened to learn of the tragic incident at a petrol station in Accra in which so many people died or were seriously injured, the Holy Father sends heartfelt condolences to the relatives of the deceased and injured, to the authorities and to the entire Nation.  His Holiness commends the souls of the departed to Almighty God and willingly invokes the divine gifts of consolation and strength upon those who mourn and upon all who have been affected by this tragedy.

                                                                                                            Cardinal Pietro Parolin

                                                                                                            Secretary of State

[Original Text: English] [Provided by the Vatican]


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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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