General News of Friday, 1 April 2005
Tema April 1, GNA - Environment Minister, Ms Christine Churcher together with her deputy Dr Geysheika Agambilla visited the PSC Tema Shipyard on Friday to assess the environmental damaged caused by the fire last Friday.
Ms Churcher expressed concern about serious environmental damages caused by the oil spillage on the surface of the water and said remedies would be taken on the report of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had earlier assessed the environmental damage.
Ms Churcher and Dr Agambilla took turns to question, the EPA boss, Mr Samuel Allotey on what preparations the agency had in place to deal with the situation.
Mr Allotey said there was an Environmental Management plan to educate organizations about environmental safety and ensure that their every day activities were void of environmental risks.
Last Friday fifteen people perished in the fire that devastated a vessel and important facilities like the TOR pumping station and pipeline, VALCO pumping house, VRA pumping house as well as some private companies nearby. Firemen have retrieved the 15 bodies.
A Togolese registered vessel, MV Polaris, owned by a Greek, which had been undergoing maintenance work for three months at the Shipyard caught fire.
Sparks from welding works on the vessel allegedly caused the fire upon contact with oil slick from the TOR pipeline.