Posted: Wednesday 30th April 2014 at 8:42 am

Tor pipelines fire claim one life

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One person was burnt to death after fire swept through fuel pipelines linking the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) to the Tema Harbour Tuesday.

The authorities suspect the deceased might have died in the scorching blaze in an attempt to siphon fuel from the leaking pipes. 

The incident, which occurred between the wall separating the former Akasanoma Factory and the Cocoa Processing Factory, took place about 3:30 p.m.

The Fire Officer for the Tema Metropolitan Area, Mr William Abeka Blankson, in an interview with the Daily Graphic, said initial information picked indicated that the explosion was sparked by a leakage from the gas pipeline, and that in the course of the inferno, a high tension electric cable fell on the deceased.

He said the initial response saw the deployment of two fire engines from the metropolis; one tender each from the Ashaiman, Tema Industrial Area and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority were dispatched to the scene, while a number of security personnel were posted to the scene to maintain law and order.

The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Joseph Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo, accompanied by the Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Isaac Ashia Odamtten; the Tema Metropolitan Co-ordinator of the National Disaster Management Organisation ( NADMO), Hajia Zenabu Abdulai; the Tema Regional Commander of Police, Mrs Beatrice Zakpaa Vib-Sanziri, and officials of TOR  visited the scene to assess the situation.

Briefing journalists at the scene, Mr Afotey-Agbo said a leakage started about 10 in the morning and people rushed to the area to scoop fuel. 

He said instead of the people reporting the matter to the authorities, they rather took advantage of the situation until disaster struck.

He said he would recommend to the presidency to recruit security persons to take charge of the pipelines on a daily basis, so that people did not get access to the lines to avert such a disaster.

He commended the Ghana National Fire and Rescue Service, the military and the police, as well as personnel of NADMO, for their swift response to the distress call for help.

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