Atomic fire: Gas depot allegedly flouted directive to install critical equipment

Atomic fire: Gas depot allegedly flouted directive to install critical equipment
Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com
Date: 10-10-2017 Time: 09:10:34:am

The Association of Gas Tanker Drivers has alleged that Mansco Gas Station, where the huge fire explosion occurred last Saturday, failed to fix electric discharge pumps to detect leakage.

The Association, together with an allied group, the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers Association, had jointly issued a directive to all of their members to fix the pumps at the various depots to ensure safety.

But it has emerged Mansco may have failed to adhere to the safety directive.

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Public Relations Officer of the Association of Gas Tanker Drivers Bernard Donkor said: “I can tell you that most of our members have fitted these pumps...from the happenings on Saturday definitely the Atomic Junction station wasn’t using the pump. That is why we told the government that there are certain things we are doing already to ensure safety so even if it is the case that it is not enough, it should help us do it."

Eye-witness accounts of the fatal incident at Atomic Junction, in Accra, indicated that gas leaked while a tanker was offloading gas at the depot, prompting speculation that a naked fire close to the gas filling station made contact with the escaping gas and ignited the raging fire.

Mr Donkor, however, says henceforth, Association remains resolute in its determination to ensuring that safety measures are strictly adhered to in order to forestall a recurrence of last weekend’s disaster.

“I can say over 50% of our members use the electric pump and after these happenings, we are going to double our efforts; we are going to impress on our members to make sure that safety standards, safety measures are really adhered to,” he said.

'There was no leakage'

Meanwhile, the Manager of Mansco Gas Station, George Owusu, has denied reports the disaster was caused by gas leakage.

George Owusu relied on accounts of people at the scene of the fatal explosion and alleges that the incident was sparked by an unnamed grilled meat [Khebab] seller close to his depot.

George Owusu

George Owusu

Mr Owusu told journalists Sunday, "the time I came in, one of them [an eye-witness] told me that it was the Khebab guy who caused the fire.”

The gas explosion has so far claimed at least seven lives and injured more than 132 people, according to official estimation.

More than 20 vehicles and other properties were also consumed by the raging fire.

Atomic Junction explosion

“I was here in the morning. There was no leakage,” Mr Owusu said to dispell the rumour that the gas explosion was caused by a leak.

 He added that “I was at home and my sister called me that there is news that there was fire at Atomic Junction… so as soon as I heard it, I called my accountant several times but he never picked up….he called me later and told me what has happened.”

Investigations are still ongoing to ascertain the cause of the fatal explosion.

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