General News of Friday, 21 July 2017
Investigations into last year’s Trade Fair gas explosion have been completed.
Although the report is yet to be submitted to the sector Minister, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Mr Alhassan Tampoli, has revealed that the tanker that was discharging the gas at the station had loaded beyond its allowed limit.
Without giving further details, he said the casualties could have been worse if the tanker had exploded while on the road to the discharging point.
Speaking at a media engagement on the NPA’s campaign on gas safety, Mr Tampoli said the report would soon be handed over to the Minister of Energy.
The campaign, dubbed: “People’s safety first”, seeks to engage stakeholders in the petroleum industry including motorists, as a prelude to a national launch of the safety campaign in August.
Mr Tampoli said the NPA would share the details of the report with the public, particularly the cause of the explosion, as soon as it was handed over to the minister.
That, he explained, would enable the public to take a cue from what happened.
Mr Tampoli stressed that it had become important for the public to be educated on the safety measures to take, while handling petroleum products, noting that the focus was currently on gas due to its nature and usage in the country.
The Director of Inspection and Monitoring of the NPA, Mrs Esther Anku, advised fuel pump attendants not to attend to motorists who refused to put off their car engines while refuelling their vehicles.
She said although drivers were supposed to switch off the engines of their vehicles while refuelling, many of them flouted that safety regulation while the pump attendants also failed to enforce the regulation.
She said it was very important that motorists adhered to safety regulations as their failure to do so could result in dire consequences for all.
Mrs Anku added that it was high time people insisted on the right thing being done and said pump attendants could refuse to serve motorists who failed to put off their engines.
Even though she did not give a specific time, Mrs Anku said the authority would soon organise a training programme for fuel and gas station operators on safety measures and the need to abide by them in order to avert explosions.
She said that had become imperative “since such accidents have far-reaching consequences for both the industry and consumers”.
She said all the stakeholders involved in the petroleum industry, including tanker owners, drivers and the oil marketing companies were being sensitised to the need to keep their operations safe to preserve human life and the environment.
Trade Fair incident
On December 22, 2016, nine persons died in a gas explosion that occurred near the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre at La in Accra.
About 12 others who sustained various degrees of injury were rushed to the 37 Military and the La General hospitals.
The cause of the fire is yet to be established as the committee that was set up to investigate the cause is yet to submit its report.