The suspect, Seth Kwesi Ofosu, was said to have dropped a lit cigarette on the floating fuel which caused the fire, resulting in the explosion, leading to the death of over 154 people, with many others receiving injuries.
This is contained in the report of the committee set up to investigate the incident which was presented to the Interior Minister, Mr. Mark Woyongo in Accra on Friday by its Chairman, Justice Isaac Delali Duose, a retired Appeals Court Judge.
The committee established that the disaster was as a result of the displacement of fuel at the Goil filling station.
It noted that even though the flooding might have contributed to the disaster, the dropping of the lit cigarette on the floating fuel, was the main cause of the inferno.
Chaired by a retired Appeals Court Judge, Justice Isaac Delali Duose, the committee stated that 154 persons lost their lives, while 154 other persons sustained various degrees of injuries.
It said five houses including the Goil filling station were totally damaged, with cost of damage estimated at GH¢1,658,847.
The committee said 17 vehicles, including a fuel tanker were burnt beyond repairs, while a mini mart located within the filling station, the Bediako Pharmacy, and Honest Chef Restaurant were completely destroyed.
It recommended the complete dredging and desilting of the Odaw river and its tributaries, banning of the use of plastic carrier bags and cooked food containers.
The committee further called for a standardised training, certification and licensing of fuel station attendants, and the creation of a Sanitation |Police Force to arrest and prosecute residents who litter adding, “any fine realised must be used to pay the Sanitation Police”.
It recommended that all commercial vehicles should be provided with refuse baskets, and that air ambulance and helicopters must be procured for the Ghana Air Force to be able to make prompt responses to such disasters.
The committee urged the government to set up a fund along the lines of the May 9, 2011 disaster at the Accra Sports Stadium for the injured and family of the deceased.
It observed that apart from the Goil filling station which was insured, the rest of the property damaged were not, adding that “individuals were also not personally insured” and urged the insurance commission to begin sensitising people on the need for personal insurance.
It also warned very important personalities to approach such disaster scenes with caution.
Mr. Woyongo commended the committee for doing a thorough job and stressed that “never should such a disaster occur in the history of the country.”
He said, some of the recommendations were being implemented and assured that the ministry would present the findings to the government and prayed that they would be accepted.
By Lawrence Vomafa-