The Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD), Mr Senyo Hosi, has called on the government to conduct an immediate safety audit of all fuel filling stations and fuel storage depots across the country.
He said that would assist in bringing to the fore all shortcomings at filling stations and storage dumps, and the need to address them for the good of consumers.
“We urge the government to conduct a thorough safety audit of all facilities to prevent the Circle GOIL tragedy from recurring”, Mr Hosi noted.
Making the call against the backdrop of the Wednesday, June 3, 2015 fire outbreak that resulted in the death of more than 100 people, he said, “What happened was most unfortunate and it is important that the government take steps to ensure it never occurs again.”
Mr Hosi made the call when he presented a cheque for GHc20,000 to the fund set up by the Multimedia Group Limited, to support the surviving victims of last Wednesday’s flood and fire tragedy, which has also displaced many Ghanaians, rendering them homeless.
While emphasising the need to preserve the safety of fuel station workers the public, and motorists, Mr Hosi said the safety audit would ensure that the highest safety standards are maintained at all times.
“Every life is important and we must all be vigilant, observe happenings at filling stations and report any anomaly to the authorities for redress.
“What happened was very unfortunate and tragic. It is our collective duty as Ghanaians to ensure it never occurs again. That duty includes reporting any form of irregularity at fuel filling stations and storage sites,” he noted.
The safety audit
According to Mr Hosi, it was not adequate for pressure checks to be conducted every five years.
“The Ministry of Energy, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must be up and doing to ensure this tragedy does not occur again,” he stressed.
There are currently more than 2,500 fuel filling stations and fuel storage sites in the country.
“Safety is paramount. As BDCs [bulk distribution companies], we don’t operate filling stations. We feed the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) who operate fuel filling stations. But as stakeholders, we felt the need to assist the victims of this tragedy. We are, therefore, donating GHc20,000 to help in this noble gesture.
“We hope and pray that other corporate bodies will donate to a worthy cause”, Mr Hosi added.
He lauded the Multimedia Group, individuals and all persons who had so far contributed to the fund.
July 2 ultimatum
Meanwhile, families of persons who died from last Wednesday’s flood and the fire disaster at the GOIL Fuel Station have up to July 2, 2015 to claim the bodies.
According to the Manager of the Korle Bu Mortuary Department, Mr George Denkyi, the law permitted unidentified bodies to be buried within 28 days of being received at the morgue.
In effect, bodies at other public health facilities will be affected by this ultimatum.
He explained that a mass burial would be held for the unclaimed bodies after July 3, 2015.
“Post mortem examination will be performed on the bodies to find the cause of death. The unclaimed ones will then be buried in a mass grave after the July 2 deadline,” Mr Denkyi told Graphic Online in Accra Monday.
So far, the remains of 64 people who died from the disaster at the GOIL Station at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra have been identified.
The 37 Military Hospital received 65 bodies, out of which 32 have been identified, while two are charred beyond recognition.
Four persons are currently receiving treatment at the Intensive Care Unit (IOU) of that hospital.
“There are 65 bodies in our morgue right now. They are 22 females and 43 males, while 22 victims are currently on admission. A male child is among those admitted”, a source at the hospital disclosed.
The Police and the Korle-Bu hospitals
Fifty-seven bodies are in the Police Hospital morgue, with families having managed to identify 30 bodies as of the time of going to press yesterday.
The Korle Bu Teaching Hospital received 11 bodies. Six of the deaths were flood-related.
The heavy downpour recorded in some parts of Accra left in its wake death and misery, as some persons are still unaccounted for.
Scores of family members have been trooping to various health centres in search of their missing relatives.
Grief stricken Ghanaians are moving from one hospital to another, in search of either bodies or family members receiving treatment.