General News of Wednesday, 11 October 2017
The Chairman of Parliament’s Subsidiary Legislation Committee, Mahama Ayariga, wants the owners of the Mansco Gas Station to be compelled to pay compensation and foot the medical bills of the victims of the Atomic Junction gas explosion.
According to him, such an action, if backed by a court order would serve as a deterrent to operators of such Liquefied Petroleum Gas refill points not to compromise on safety regulations and standards.
The Former Environment Minister’s comments follow the explosion on Saturday that has so far claimed seven lives, and rekindled conversations about safety and the possible complicity of stakeholders in fuel distribution.
Speaking to Citi News, Mahama Ayariga indicated that, victims should consider taking legal action against the owners of the gas depot.
He reminded that, there were legal remedies available and “said [a class action lawsuit] was one of the things that needed to happen.”
After some major explosions in the past, the government has stepped in to foot medical bills of victims and sometimes paid for funeral costs.
But Mr. Ayariga believes the government’s intervention allows the companies involved in these accidents of the hook.
“Very often, after all the talking, that doesn’t happen so facility owners who have caused such damage get away with it. There is no reason why our tax money should be used to pay compensation to those who suffer injury as a result of this accident.”
He added that the person who caused the accident and the insurance companies “should also feel it a bit by being held accountable so that next time insurance companies will increase the premium, and then if the person loses his property in an effort to pay compensation and damages, he will be more stringent with his managers.”
LPG distributors shift blame
The LPG Marketing Companies Association of Ghana, has tried to downplay concerns that LPG stations are slowly becoming death traps amid calls for the cessation of on-site dispensing of LPG, and the expected Cylinder Re-circulation module.
A spokesperson for the LPG Marketing Companies dismissed these assertions and attributed Saturday’s incident to a failure by the attendants at the gas station to use the electric discharge pumps which had been put in place for the dispensing of gas into the Bulk Road Vehicles (BRVs).
However, the Fire Service is yet to conclude investigations into the explosion to ascertain the exact cause.