Veep visits victims of gas explosion at Legon, 37 hospitals

Vice President Dr Bawumia (in smock) and other officials sympathising with a victim at the Legon  Hospital..

Vice President Dr Bawumia (in smock) and other officials sympathising with a victim at the Legon Hospital..

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia yesterday visited victims of the Atomic Junction gas explosion currently on admission at the Legon Hospital, Police Hospital and the 37 Military Hospital, all in Accra.

 

Earlier, he had visited the explosion site and expressed the government’s resolve to implement new policies to bring the spate of fuel and gas station explosions in the country to an immediate end.

 

Vice President Dr Bawumia (in smock) and Government  Officials sympathising with a victim at the Ridge HospitalAccording to Dr Bawumia, the weekend’s explosion was the eighth incident in three years and indicated that the government was now resolved, more than ever, to implement formidable policies to prevent such avoidable explosions in future.

 

The Vice President, who led a delegation of government officials to the scene, said the government would not approach the matter by forming committees to look into the causes without doing anything about it, as had been done in the past.     `

 

He said stern policies would be introduced immediately and indicated that anyone who defied those policies would not be tolerated.

 

“This is one too many. This is not a time for talking; enough with the talking. We are going to see action. What Ghanaians really want is a solid policy to deal with this matter once and for all and we are going to deal with it”.

 

“It will not be about committees and nothing gets done. We owe it to the country and the government is going to take this seriously,” he said and noted that government officials, the night of the incident, began discussions on the way forward and had made some progress.

 

According to eyewitnesses, Saturday’s explosion was caused by a tanker at a gas-filling station, followed by a secondary blast at a nearby fuel station. As at press time, seven people had been confirmed dead with a number of children missing and several others injured.

 

In May this year, an explosion at a factory at Takoradi in the Western Region occurred as a tanker was discharging liquefied petroleum gas at the Ghana Household Utilities Manufacturing Company, causing a number of casualties.

 

Five months before the incident in May, a similar explosion occurred at Labadi, near the Trade Fair Centre in Accra. That incident also claimed some lives, including a relative of the Minister of Trade, Mr Alan Kyerematen.

 

Dr Bawumia said it was important to put the lives of people above everything else, adding, “it is in the interest of our country to implement new policy directions”.

 

Although he did not indicate the nature of the policy, he said it would be comprehensive, with clearly defined roles for the National Petroleum Authority, Environmental Protection Agency, Ministry of Energy and the Fire Service.

 

Dr Bawumia expressed the government’s condolences to the families of the deceased and sympathy to the injured. He announced that the government would take up the full medical cost of all those who got injured in the tragedy.

 

He commended the Fire Service, police, military, national disaster management organisation and the health services for their timely response to get the incident under control.

By Yaw Kyei and Julius Yao Petetsi

 

 

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