A furnace explosion at the United Steel Company Limited on Monday, August 24 at the Freezone Enclave in Tema has injured nine persons and destroyed property belonging to MND Metals Company Limited.
The nine injured included 6 Ghanaians and 3 Indians working in the company (United Steel Company). The impact also put workers in the neighbouring company at risk.
Manager, MND Metals Company Limited, Mahmoud El Kurdi, said one of the furnaces used by United Steel to melt scrap metals for its production exploded, at about 1810 hours, causing damage to the changing room of their workers among other property.
MND Metals Company Limited is situated just behind United Steel Company Limited.
The Manager said the fumes released from the explosion and that released daily from the company contained carbon, harmful to human health, adding that most of his workers were diagnosed of respiratory infections and some coughed blood.
He said the consistent pollution of the air by United Steel Company Limited had affected his business because most expatriates he brought to work for the company had left due to the unhealthy air quality.
Mr El Kurdi said he approached the management of United Steel personally to resolve the inconvenience, but to no avail and he had also written several letters with videos on pen drives holding the evidence of the pollution to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Ministry for Environment Science Technology and Innovation (MESTI).
He said about 200 workers in his company; 50 expatriates and 150 Ghanaians were being exposed daily to the poisonous gases and the company was investing a lot to see that the right thing was done.
“The situation is bad and this had been going on for so long; decline in business, losing staff and our healths are all in danger,” he said.
He called on the government and stakeholders to ensure United Steel Company Limited followed laid down guidelines given by EPA to prevent all forms of air pollution in the Free Zone Area to avert future dangers.
Foreman of MND Metals Company Limited, Mr Adams Aikens, said they as workers had also reported the inconvenience to the Kpone Police Station and the Environmental Health Safety Office at Kpone.
He said a worker, George Amoah died because of the air pollution two years ago adding that his doctor also advised him after a health checkup that his life was at stake due to the poor air quality caused by the pollution from United Steel Company Limited.
Daniel Adraku, 33, a forklift operator of MND Metals Company Limited, said the smoke clouded his vision during work and as such had to wait for over an hour to continue working which delayed his output.
“One of our guys called John Tetteh is suffering from asthma as a result of the pollution,” he said.
Chief Director of MESTI Cynthia Asare Bediako, when contacted said the Ministry had little information about the incident and needed to conduct further investigations.
The Ghana News Agency was unable to gather information from United Steel Company Limited as those contacted were unwilling to volunteer information.