The National Petroleum Authority (NPA), has said it had identified some safety lapses at the MANSCO gas filling station – the station that exploded last Saturday – and had in a letter prompted them to take measures in rectifying same.
Chief Executive Officer of the Authority, Hassan Tampuli, who made the revelation on the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday, said the letter was given to MANSCO through the Oil Marketing Company (OMC) that supplied it with LPG, Hills Oil.
“In the case of this particular station, we did the monitoring and inspection in April 2017, so it was part of Greater Accra inspection and monitoring exercise. We wrote to them a letter which was sent to them on 10th of July. What the letter said was that, we’ve done monitoring and inspection of your station and we come to the realization that they fell short of a number of things and we catalogued them. One of the things we said was that, their forecourt was too busy of activities which includes taxi rank, food vendors among others. So we thought that, that was unsafe so they should put in place the necessary safety measures,” Mr. Tampuli told Bernard Avle on the Citi Breakfast Show.
Mr. Tampuli said his outfit also wrote a letter to six other filling stations that had questionable safety measures.
Reading excerpts of the letter sent across, the NPA boss said: “…the exercise revealed that 7 of the LPG filling gas stations at Adjei Kojo, Tema community 9, Ada Bedeku, Kobekrom, Ada Kasei, Atomic Junction and Oyibi did not fully satisfy the standards of operation prescribed by Authority…You are required to address the identified shortcomings by close of business Monday, 4th September 2017, and notify the authority for an inspection of the seven LPG plants.”
He also said three demands were made to MANSCO.
“First of all, we said there was too much activity on the forecourt especially around the cylinder filling and auto gas area. Secondly, more safety signs should be provided at the facility and thirdly, customers should be prevented from assessing the filling area, a separate waiting area must be provided,” he said.
About seven people perished, and 132 sustained varied degrees of injury when the MANSCO gas station exploded.
The incident has however ignited pressure on supervisory state bodies to put the various filling stations in country under constant check to forestall such explosions in future.