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General News of Saturday, 11 November 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

Atomic Explosion: Punish all cupable officials – Group

Social action group, One Ghana Movement, has called for an immediate public enquiry into the gas explosion at Atomic Junction in Accra, as well as punishment of officers who “facilitated the breaching of safety protocols that might have resulted in the explosion.”

Seven people were confirmed dead in the blast, whilst 132 people sustained varying degrees of injury.

The residents of Atomic Junction in Madina were thrown into a state of panic following the explosion at the gas station which spread to adjacent structures.

The huge fireball from the explosion could be seen for miles around with many people in the vicinity taking to their heels in a bid to escape the blaze.

A number of people who sustained injuries in the blaze and the ensuing panic were taken to surrounding hospitals to receive treatment.

This was the eighth gas explosion in the country since 2013, a situation the group considers unfortunate as no persons have been held accountable for failing to ensure the incidents don’t occur.

In a statement, One Ghana Movement called for an open investigation into the incident and the punishment of officers who facilitated the breaching of safety protocols that might have resulted in the explosion.

“We at OneGhana feel very strongly that such disasters will be halted when actions and inaction are punished. We certainly cannot go on like this as a country! The attainment of Ghana’s potential will remain an illusion unless the culture and attitude of accountability is engrained in our governance and socio-cultural structures.

It is important that the public officials granting safety permits realize and understand that in the event of any manipulation of the permitting process which results in safety breaches, the responsible official should be held legally accountable. Likewise regulators should ensure all involved in the industry provide adequate training for staff and keep to health and safety regulations,” the group said.

“Laws should be enforced and people held accountable. We are demanding an immediate open investigation into the Atomic gas explosion for all citizens to have knowledge of its results and whoever is held responsible, government should take immediate action to punish accordingly. When the people are sanctioned, it will serve as a preventive measure to persons involved within the sector.”

Read the full statement from One Ghana Movement below

On the evening of October 7th 2017, an explosion occurred at the Gas dispensing station at Atomic Junction near Madina. Seven persons were confirmed dead and more than a hundred sustained varying degrees of burnt injuries.

It has been reported by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) that in the last three years, the country has witnessed at least eight (8) explosions at gas filling stations while the content was being dislodged. However institutions or persons responsible for safety and regulatory measures in the petroleum industry have not been held accountable.

As expected, authorities rushed to the scene of the disaster the following day with promises to ensure that not only will the perpetrators be brought to book but polices will be put up to avoid such occurrences.

We at OneGhana feel very strongly that such disasters will be halted when actions and inactions are punished. We certainly cannot go on like this as a country! The attainment of Ghana’s potential will remain an illusion unless the culture and attitude of accountability is engrained in our governance and socio-cultural structures.

It is important that the public official’s granting safety permits realise and understand that in the event of any manipulation of the permitting process which results in safety breaches, the responsible official should be held legally accountable. Likewise regulators to ensure all involved in the industry provide adequate training for staff and keep to health and safety regulations.

Laws should be enforced and people held accountable. We are demanding an immediate open investigation into the Atomic gas explosion for all citizens to have knowledge of its results and whoever is held responsible, government should take immediate action to punish accordingly. When the people are sanctioned, it will serve as a preventive measure to persons involved within the sector.

We at OneGhana pledge to continue with public sensitization to ensure that all citizenry are aware of their responsibilities of adhering to our laws as a country, to prevent such avoidable disasters in the future.

Honour the pledge!

OneGhana