General News of Wednesday, 27 June 2012
Source: Daily Graphic
THE Vice-President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, has directed the Ministry of Energy and the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to inspect all depots of petroleum products to ensure that the operators follow the rules and regulations of keeping such products. he again asked the Ministry of Energy and the NPA to run an educational campaign to sensitise the public to the proper handling of gas to reduce the increasing incidence of gas explosions in homes. Mr Mahama gave the directive Monday at the Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, where he visited the victims of the premix fuel dump explosion. the premix fuel exploded last Friday at Bawire and Akyinim, a twin fishing community, near Axim in the Western Region, burning four people to death. Four of the seven people who had sustained between 90 and 97 per cent burns, had so far died at the Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre of the hospital, bringing the total deaths to eight. according to the Chief Executive Officer of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Prof Nii Otu Nartey, and the Director of the Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre, Dr Opoku Ware Ampomah, who conducted the Vice-President round to see the victims, the remaining three victims were in stable but critical condition. Meanwhile, four of the victims are receiving treatment at the 37 Military Hospital. the Vice-President said information indicated that the premix fuel dump that exploded at Bawire and Akyinim was in an enclosed place, which was against the rules governing the keeping of such fuel. he said such explosions caused death and severe injury to people, and that the Ministry of Energy and the NPA should inspect the fuel centres, “to ensure that the people follow the rules and regulations”. Mr Mahama said statistics at the Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre indicated that 40 per cent of the cases recorded at the centre were from domestic gas explosions. he, therefore, asked the public to be cautious in the way they handled gas to avoid any explosion and its consequent damaging effects. the Vice-President assured the families of the victims that the government would collaborate with them to work out a package for them and respond to other relevant issues appropriately. he commended the doctors and nurses at the Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre for their work, and assured them that the government would support them to complete work on a new block being put up by the centre. In all, 29 people are said to have sustained various degrees of injury in the premix fuel explosion. Prof Nartey said some of the victims receiving treatment at other hospitals would be referred to the centre to continue their treatment. Dr Ampomah stressed the need for the public to be extra careful in the way they handled gas, since domestic gas explosion “is on the rise”.