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General News of Saturday, 14 October 2017


We should start suing owners of gas stations for negligence – Mahama Ayariga

Former Environment Minister, Mahama Ayariga says the spate of gas explosions in the country will end if operators of those facilities are sued for damages.

The lawmaker believes the “financial bite” will serve as a deterrent to check the recklessness and negligence that often lead to the explosions.

On Joy FM/MultiTV’s Newsfile Saturday, the Bawku Central MP said gas operators should no longer be left off the hook whenever an explosion occurs.

“We should start suing the owners for the damage caused [people and properties],” the man whose leadership at the Environment Ministry in 2015 saw the country’s biggest explosions.

At least 159 people died, with several others injured after the June 3, fire and flood disaster. A smoker was blamed for the fire but nothing was done to him.

The country was later to record seven other explosions with the recent one being the Atomic Junction gas explosion at Madina in Accra. The government has confirmed at least seven people died while 134 others were injured.

The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has said negligence and recklessness on the part of the gas operator were to blame for the explosion.

NPA boss, Hassan Tampuli said the gas operator discharged the product after 6 pm, an act that went against the Authority's regulations.

The President Akufo-Addo government has rolled out new policy directives, which involved an immediate and strict inspection of all gas and filling stations.

But Mr Ayariga wants gas operators to be held responsible for the damage and loss of lives that their negligence and recklessness cause.

“I haven’t heard anybody suing the people who operate those gas stations,” he said, adding people will learn to be responsible if they are sued for their actions.

on his part, Vice Chairman of Parliament's Health Committee Dr Nana Ayew Afriyie has expressed optimism in the measures government has put out to address the issue.

“The directive is so bold [and] no respecter of persons,” the Effiduase-Asokore MP told Newsfile host Samson Lardy Anyenini, adding the system will be sanitized after the implementation.