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General News of Monday, 9 October 2017

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

How a citizen journalist predicted a possible gas explosion at Atomic Junction

Ghanaians were saddened as memories of June 3, 2015 twin disaster at Circle Goil filling station and the La gas explosion were rekindled when the Madina Atomic Junction gas explosion happened last Saturday night.

At least seven persons have lost their lives and several others with various degrees of injuries, receiving medical attention at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra.

Experts, groups and individuals have called on authorities to take appropriate actions and be more critical with safety issues, in order to prevent future occurrence of such disasters.

Government as usual, has promised to enforce stringent policies on the siting and operation of gas filling stations in the country and would not "tolerate arguments against proposed reforms particularly in the sale of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)".

But it has emerged that, prior to the incident, a citizen journalist had alerted authorities on possible danger in relation to the siting of the two fuel stations and the environmental factors surrounding them.

According to a video report filed by the an unidentified journalist, activities of mechanics close to the bus station just opposite the Total filling station and the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) station that exploded Saturday night needed to be regulated.

The mechanics openly burned garbage with heavy smoke emanating from the flames which could spark fire outbreaks.



He suggested relocation of the lorry station to avert the heavy vehicular traffic on the Atomic/Madina stretch of road and also called on persons in charge to control activities of people working in the area.

Despite this warning, no actions were taken leading to the unfortunate explosion.

The fire which reportedly started at around 7pm on Saturday, October 7, 2017, setting ablaze many vehicles at the nearby taxi and commercial buses (trotro) station.



Even though the cause of the explosion is not yet known, however, if authorities had taken necessary steps and considered the warning of the citizen journalist, the intensity of the fire may have been less.