Who Gets Punished Over The Atomic Gas Explosion?
Seven human lives lost. Young innocent children rendered fatherless. Businesses and means of income destroyed. 132 injured. Many victims to live with a physical disability forever. Properties destroyed. All because someone in authority failed to act. Yet no one would be jailed or sacked or punished.
Travesty of justice at play.
The Atomic Junction gas explosion was tragic, horrific and avoidable.
In our characteristic blame game, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has attributed the gas explosion to lack of negligence on the part of the Gas station.
The NPA Chief Executive, in an interview with Peace FM said the Authority had done some safety auditing at that particular station and the results proved beyond doubt all was not well and its continuous operation was a disaster in waiting.
“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”, the NPA Chief Executive told Kwami Sefa Kayi on the Peace Fm Morning show as though his post-disaster explanation exonerates him.
People are put in positions of authority and paid by the poor tax payer to work.
If the NPA, after detecting a clear anomaly at the Gas station continued to allow it to function without withdrawing its permit or insisting all the requisite safety measures are put in place before the station resumes full operation, why should the NPA not take part of the blame for this disaster? Ensuring such stations comply with requisite safety measures is the job of the NPA.
Shamefully, the NPA, in this instance, has failed on that job!!! The head of the Authority has not resigned. Rather he has the courage to tell the world that his outfit detected a danger in waiting but tolerated the anomaly until disaster struck.
THE PUBLISHER is wondering how many other gas stations do not meet the safety standards yet the NPA is watching and tolerating their operations.
The danger was detected. Nothing was done to avoid it. The worst happened. Seven human lives lost. Young innocent children rendered fatherless. Businesses and means of income destroyed. 132 injured. Many victims to live with a physical disability forever. Properties destroyed. All because someone in authority failed to act. Yet no one in authority would be jailed, sacked or even sanctioned. Mockery of justice indeed.