Fuel tank explosion kills 2, injures 5

A fire tender and water tanker at the scene of fire

A fire tender and water tanker at the scene of fire

Two welders died on the spot and five others sustained various injuries on Sunday, when a fuel tank exploded while they were welding a new fuel circulation pump to it at the Pioneer Food Cannery (PFC) in Tema.

However one of them escaped unhurt because he had gone to buy an item outside the premises.

It is suspected that the hot works was carried out without draining the fuel tank or purging it of every residual fuel.

Not only that, the boiler was also said to be in operation as a result, the heat from the welding easily ignited a fire.

The impact of the explosion was so intense that it blew part of the fuel tank away spilling the fuel therein and allowing the fire to engulf the two boilers and five offices nearby destroying property worth millions of cedis.

As a result of the explosion, the factory has temporarily been closed.

Fire officials identified the deceased as Kelvin Quaynor and Isaac Quaye. Their bodies have been deposited at the Tema General Hospital mortuary.

The deceased and their colleagues from Mateco Engineering Company had been contracted by PFC to undertake repair works on the tank.

Fuel tankers burnt

Rescuers rushed the injured to the Tema General Hospital for treatment but personnel at the emergency ward after providing first aid referred them to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital for more intensive care.

Briefing pressmen yesterday the Tema Regional Commander of the Ghana National Fire Service, Acting Chief Fire Officer Frances Rockson, said her outfit received a call at 5:14 pm on Sunday that there was a fire outbreak at PFC.

She said fire fighters reached the scene in three minutes and started combating the fire.

Madam Rockson said personnel with the aid of five tenders and two water tankers extinguished the fire at 6:49 pm.

When our reporters got to the PFC factory yesterday morning the security personnel on duty refused to allow them entry with the excuse that management had ordered them not to allow any press man in.

Officials of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union and the Department of Factories Inspectorate were seen visiting the factory to console management on their loss and ascertain the extent of damage.

The PFC, who are into the manufacture of sea foods operate in the Free Zone Enclave of Tema.

From Godfred Blay Gibbah and Ken Afedzi,Tema.

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