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General News
National Petroleum Authority officials visit gas explosion site 9/25/2007
Kumasi, Sept. 24, GNA - Officials from National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Ashanti Regional Security Committee (REGSEC) on Monday visited the gas explosion and fire outbreak site at the Engas Filling Station at Asokwa in Kumasi to assess the damage caused.

The officials conducted round by Mr Emmanuel Asamoah Owusu-Ansah, Ashanti Regional Minister and Chairman of REGSEC, also visited some of the private properties that were damaged.

Mr Obeng Danquah Dwamena, Ashanti Regional Fire Officer, briefing the officials, said even though the cause of the fire outbreak could not be ascertained immediately, human error could not be ruled out.

He said the gas plant had the necessary requirement for its establishment.

Officials of NPA are expected to brief REGSEC on safety standards as well as requirements required to operate gas plant in the country. Meanwhile, REGSEC would meet operators of gas plant stations in the Kumasi metropolis to discuss safety measures and other issues relating to the establishment of gas stations in the metropolis. Mr Owusu-Ansah, speaking to Ghana News Agency, after a closed door meeting with the officials, said REGSEC was waiting for a report from the committee instituted to investigate the cause of the fire outbreak before it could take any decision.

He said the meeting with the service providers would help REGSEC to make informed decisions and take actions that would help prevent future occurrence of such a tragedy.

In a related development, operations at the Asokwa Sub-Metro Office of the National Health Insurance Scheme had been temporary suspended following the damage caused to the offices and other equipment by the explosion.

Roofs of the offices were ripped off during the explosion and the rains destroyed vital documents and computers. A visit to the offices by GNA on Monday saw most of the insurance cards and other vital documents destroyed by the rains. Mr Franklin Ebo Otchere, Public Relations Manager of the scheme, said the damage had affected its operations. However, he said data stored in the computer were safe and would resume operations in a week.

The Burns Unit of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) has so far treated and discharged 135 victims, who sustained various degrees of injury as a result of last Friday''s fire outbreak. The condition of seven others, who were admitted in critical condition, has stabilized and responding to treatment. No death has been recorded.

A tanker discharging gas exploded sending fireballs that burnt the entire station; five vehicles; part of a lumber processing company, some containers and shops.

About 50 nearby houses including Texas Hotel, Confidence Hotel, Asokwa Presbyterian Church and private houses were also damaged as a result of the explosion.

It took members of the Ghana National Fire Service one-and-half hours to put out the fire. 24 Sept. 07Source:

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