TOR fire: Committee blames tanker driver, mate

The Committee tasked to investigate the recent fire outbreak that claimed the lives of two employees and damaged a loading gantry at the Tema Oil Refinery has recommended that the driver and mate of the loading vehicle at time of the accident be held responsible for the cause of the tragedy.

The Chairman of the Committee, Mr Emmanuel Quartey, explained that its investigations revealed that the driver of the tanker at the gantry who had finished loading premix gasoline for fishermen was trying to spark his tanker and the ignition caught fire resulting in the tragedy

The committee presented a 24-page report on the accident to the Minister of Energy, on Friday.

Two duty attendants at the gantry got burnt and died, whilst several others were severely injured.

Meanwhile, the Committee said, the affected loading gantry would take several months to be restored due to the extent of the damage.

The cost of damage to the gantry is estimated at GH¢120,000 whilst physical damage at the refinery is estimated at 2.5 million dollars.

Additionally, five loaded tankers were totally burnt and two unloaded ones were damaged.

Mr Quartey, a former General Manager of Health, Safety and Environment, at TOR, said the committee recommended that TOR improved its management of safety.

He said TOR also needed better supervision by the regulatory authority and it should ensure that the system of procedures at the facility were enforced, monitored and complied with.

When these were implemented, he said, such tragedy would be prevented.

Other members of the committee were Dr Yaw Akoto of Bulk Oil Storage (BOST), Deputy Fire Officer J.W. Mensah, Nii Lamptey Blankson of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), Lt. Col. Diamond Akplor (Rtd) and Mrs Daphne Akonor at the Attorney-General’s Office.

The committee was tasked to investigate the cause of the fire, ascertain the extent of damage, evaluate the appropriateness of the existing safety and security measures at TOR, identify any safety and security issues that in their opinion were relevant to safeguard the facility and prevent future occurrences.

Mr Emmanuel Armah Kofi-Boah, Deputy Minister of Energy, who received the report on behalf of the government, commended the committee for the enormous job executed at a short notice.

He noted that TOR was a strategic asset that needed to be protected and said the government would treat the findings and recommendations with all urgency and implement the recommendations to avert further occurrences.

Source: GNA

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