Public Relations Officer of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), Mrs. Aba Lokko says the refinery is collaborating with the security agencies to crack down on tanker drivers, who park at unapproved locations.
Speaking to Joy News, Monday, Mrs. Lokko warned that tankers parked on the shoulders of the roads or within the communities have no business to be there and should therefore face the same treatment meted out to other vehicle parked at unauthorized places.
The TOR PRO noted that the refinery has engaged the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) Tanker Drivers Association and other organizations, who matter in the relocation of the tankers from unauthorized places.
According to her, the TOR is obliged to get a holding space for tanker drivers, who do business with the refinery.
“Not all the tankers do business with us”, she intimated.
The response from TOR was as a result of reports that Tema may be sitting on a time bomb waiting to explode. This is due to the indiscriminate parking of fuel tankers around the Tema Oil Refinery.
The caution, which is from the Ghana Burns Survivors Foundation, says it is concerned about “the haphazard location” of fuel stations in the area.
A fire outbreak at TOR last week destroyed TOR pipelines and other properties running into millions of dollars.
Joy News’ Joseph Opoku Gakpo, who visited the area, reported that residents of Tema are yet to come to terms with the fire outbreak on the TOR pipeline that also killed one person and injured three others.
The residents say the fire outbreak is a warning that if urgent safety measures are not put in place, a bigger fire disaster looms.
High-volume fuel sources must be located far enough from homes because of their hazard to life. But in Tema Communities One and Four, tankers, some containing highly flammable fuel loaded from the refinery, are parked on the shoulders of the road; in front of homes and shops.
Speaking to Joy News, the Founder of the Ghana Burns Survivors Foundation, Dennis Opoku Gyamfi, warned that the pertaining situation could lead to a fatal fire outbreak in the town that could cause injury to many people.
The foundation also believes the numerous fuel stations arbitrarily cited in the town, some of which have become parking spaces for tanker vehicles, worsen the threat of disaster.
The residents fear a fire outbreak on even one fuel tanker could spread like wild fire through other tankers dotted across the town.
But the drivers defend their actions, complaining of inadequate parking stations.
Meanwhile, TOR says it cannot do much to force the tanker drivers to return to the allocated parking space after they load fuel.
On his part, Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) Chief Executive, Isaac Odamten noted that the assembly through its surveillance is aware of the situation.
According to him, there is the need for a solid interface to be created to ensure that the economic hub of Tema is not endangered.
“It is for us to have a truck park to accommodate the trucks and have them move whenever they are on schedule”, he noted.
Mr. Odamten claimed the assembly has made frantic efforts at pursuing any available land for truck parking in the metropolis.
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