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General News of Friday, 23 December 2016

Source: kasapafmonline.com

Trade Fair Fire: Blame authorities for relaxing safety standards – COPEC-GH

The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana has slammed the National Petroleum Authority(NPA), and the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) for relaxing safety standards regulations after the horror of June 3 disaster hit the country a year ago.

The concern of the Chamber comes after the capital city witnessed yet another fire disaster that grieved residents of the La-Dadekotopon municipality near the Trade Fair site last night.

Five people were burnt to death in the gas station explosion while over 30 casualties were also recorded in the sorry incident.

A statement from the Chamber and signed by the Executive Secretary, Duncan Amoah said:”The memory of a similar incident of June 3rd continue to remain fresh in the minds of many who lost dear ones and property but seems very little or not much has been learnt after assurances have been variously given.

The statement added:”Issues of effective monitoring and compliance to safety and acceptable standards by the authorities on such highly volatile and inflammable facilities still leaves a lot to be desired.”

The Chamber has therefore asked authorities especially the monitoring unit of the National Petroleum Authority ( NPA ) to enforce all neccesary regulations regarding safety of such highly flammable facilities across the country.

Meanwhile the scene has been sealed off this morning after the inferno which happened yesterday, Kasapa FM’s Baffuor reports.

Below is the full statement

CHAMBER OF PETROLEUM CONSUMERS GHANA

YET ANOTHER FATAL EXPLOSION

23/12/16

Ghanaians have once again been awakened to the reality of potential disaster very close to residential and commercial spaces after another fatal gas explosion at Labadi a suburb of the capital that has reportedly taken a couple of unsuspecting lives.

The memory of a similar incident of June 3rd continue to remain fresh in the minds of many who lost dear ones and property but seems very little or not much has been learnt after assurances have been variously given.

Investigations are currently underway and we have a firm belief in the ability of the Police and Fire Service to do a thorough job at unraveling the true and exact details of what went wrong leading to the loss of lives and property.

Issues of effective monitoring and compliance to safety and acceptable standards by the authorities on such highly volatile and inflammable facilities still leaves a lot to be desired.

Whiles acceptable and regulatory standards or practices require routine and periodic maintenance and sometimes complete closure of such facilities including fuel stations to make way for repairs of worn out valves, tanks and pumps, many operators continue to put making money first before safety.

The state institutions tasked with ensuring such routine checks across these facilities are complied with continue to erode the public confidence of working efficiently to curtail any such unfortunate catastrophic incidences. The loss of any unsuspecting life or lives at a fuel or a gas station due to negligence of safety standards and proper maintenance or the enforcement of same by the authorities cannot be countenanced nor accepted.

We appeal to the owners and operators of such facilities to make it a priority of putting safety at the apex of their operations for the protection of lives and their own investments whiles challenging the authorities especially the monitoring unit of the National Petroleum Authority ( NPA ) to enforce all neccesary regulations regarding safety of such highly flammable facilities across the country.

Signed

Duncan Amoah

Executive Secretary