Ghana’s president-elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has underscored the need to take a second look at the siting of gas filling stations across the country in the wake of Thursday’s gas explosion that left five people dead on the spot.
Five persons were burnt to death while dozens sustained various degrees of injury from a gas explosion at the Louis Gas Station behind the Accra International Trade Fair Centre at Labadi.
It is not clear what triggered the explosion which occurred at about 5:50pm Thursday, and took about two hours for fire fighters to bring the raging inferno under control.
In 2015, two similar gas explosions were recorded in Accra at Ngleshie Amanfrom near Kasoa and Dansoman near the Wesley Grammar Senior High School.
Two people died in the Amanfrom incident while scores were left injured in the two explosions, which triggered calls for the siting of gas filling stations in residential areas to be relooked at.
Moments after Thursday’s explosion, Nana Akufo-Addo took to Facebook to express his condolences to the families of the bereaved, and wished the injured a speedy recovery.
He said the latest explosion has brought to the fore the need to relook at where gas filling stations should sited, as well as ensure the enforcement and adherence to safety regulations.
“It is about time we take a second look at the citing of gas stations in our country, and ensure the strict enforcement of, and adherence to safety regulations, so as to forestall the occurrence of any more of such avoidable incidents,” he stated.
Nana Akufo-Addo who takes over from the current John Mahama-led government on January 7, 2017, however, did not state further whether his government would take up the issue.
Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer of the Ghana National Fire Service, Prince Billy Anaglate told Stephen Anti on TV3 News @10 Thursday night that five persons have been confirmed dead with over 30 injured.
“The exposition that occurred at the gas [station] actually skyrocketed over the wall of the Trade Fair itself,” he said, adding that several facilities and properties around the site caught fire in the process.
“Over 30 people [who] received various degrees of injury within the Trade Fair site were rushed to the 37 Military Hospital, La General Hospital for treatment…some of them have been detained at the hospital,” he said.
Mr Anaglate said they got a call about the explosion and the subsequent fire just about 10 minutes to 6:00pm and quickly informed the Trade Fair Fire Station which responded quickly, but the team had to call for reinforcement due to the magnitude of the explosion and the fire.
“Additional four teams were dispatched with three water tankers…. plus two military fire engines,” he told Anti on the show.
“We saw the fire on about three tankers in there. The bigger one was massively leaking and the fire was just above it and that was how we were trying to prevent further explosion.
“We were using water to cool the temperature below the level where it could explode. It was during the fire fighting that we saw that about five people were actually burnt to death,” he said.
“Four of them were passers-by and one of them was on a bicycle and was burnt together with it and three others were also walking on the street that the explosion caught them up and they died. The woman who died within the premises of the Gas, I believe might be have something doing with the gas,” he said.