We Notified Gas Station About Safety – NPA Boss
The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has attributed the Atomic Junction gas explosion to lack of negligence on the part of the Gas station.
Dozens of security personnel from the Police and Military Services are reported deployed to the scene of the fatal gas explosion that occurred at the Atomic Junction off the Madina-Haatso road.
An inferno last Saturday claimed lives and injured several others after a gas leak ignited.
The fire was first noticed by attendants at a gas station when LPG that was being discharged at the vicinity started to leak.
The station attendants began to evacuate the area.
Speaking in an interview with host Kwami Sefa Kayi, the Chief Executive Officer of the NPA, Alhassan Tampuli has dismissed the reports on the Khebab seller saying “mostly, you’ll see a truck at the station to discharge LPG and that is normally the cause of the problem”.
According to him, the Authority had notified the gas station in July this year to undertake some precautionary measures which they station authorities failed to comply with all directives given them.
He said; “we wrote a letter to the company on the 10th of July, 2017, after our routine monitoring and inspection visit to a number of stations and we do that all the time . . . and the letter we wrote to them was titled ‘Compliance with monitoring of LPG refilling plant in the Greater Accra Region 2017’ and it’s addressed to the Managing Director . . .”
“A number of things came out and we wrote to them and requested of them to put them in place by the 4th of September 2017. We told them there was too much activity on the forecourt especially around the cylinder; traders, vulcanizers and so forth. The place has become like a taxi rank or trotro station. They can discharge passengers and convey passengers. So, one of the things that we indicated to them was that there was too much activity on the forecourt.
Secondly, we also said that more safety signs should be provided at the vicinity. And thirdly, customers must be prevented from accessing the filling area, a separate waiting area must be provided . . . We did a follow-up visit. When we did a follow-up visit, to some extent, they had put in place some of the measures but they still had some activities of uninvited people at the forecourt”, Mr. Tampuli told Kwami Sefa Kayi.
Mr. Tampuli also noted that the cause of the explosion is normally due to the trucks that discharge the petroleum product at the gas stations. On Saturday’s incident, he said the explosion occurred when a truck was on-site discharging gas which triggered the leak resulting in the fire outbreak.
“Mostly, you’ll see a truck at the station to discharge LPG and that is normally the cause of the problem . . .The one at Trade site resulted when the truck was on-site. The one at Takoradi – Ghumco disaster – happened when the truck was on-site. Last Saturday’s own happened when the truck was onsite.
In Kumasi where it happened, the truck was on-site . . . so we have an understanding that either it’s the way and manner that the discharge is done or it is a major catastrophic attempt to pull something which should not be done in just to control the environment . . . Mostly, it’s as a result of discharge error; either the driver and the mate do not have the requisite training (number 1) or the discharge facility, either the pump, is faulty or the breakaway coupling is weak and then that results in some amount of leakages . . . then the driver and the mate will bolt away without taking the precautionary measures to put in place before even asking for reinforcement.
“The other problem that we found out about the last explosion is that normally, discharge of product is not done in the night. Do you understand? You don’t discharge in the night. So, clearly, that was in violation of the procedures that we had put in place for the discharge of petroleum product”, he stressed.