A gas tanker explosion on Thursday evening in Ghana’s capital has claimed 9 live whiles 12 other people sustained various degrees of injury, the state-owned Daily Graphic newspaper reports.
According to the Graphic, eyewitnesses said the explosion which happened close to Ghana’s International Trade Fair Center happened at about 5:30 GMT.
The gas station in question was close to the Trade Fair Center and the explosion swept through the street and affected parts of the facility. Most of the persons affected were said to be passengers waiting across the street for buses to their homes.
The pressure built up and because the lid was not tight, the pressure was able to force the lid open. It came out like a missile... and that is why it spewed out 200 meters into the Labadi Trade Fair site and caused the fire.
It took firemen and more than seven fire engines to bring the blaze under control after over three hours. Affected persons were rushed to two medical facilities – the La General Hospital and the 37 Military hospital. The area has since been cordoned off and under the guard of security and rescue officials.
Irresponsible human error cause of the explosion
Head of Ghana’s Petroleum Authority, Moses Asaga, speaking to privately owned radio station Joy FM in an interview on Friday morning said the explosion was caused by ‘irresponsible human error.’
Mr Asaga, explained that two bolts which should have tightened the lid on the gas tanker were missing. The pressure of the fully loaded gas tanker was forced out ‘like a missile’ causing the explosion.
“We noticed that the facility there had a very high level of integrity pipeline, dispensers and values were all intact, each of the gas tankers has a cork (lid) on it… and you have to bolt the lid just like we bolt the tyres to our cars so that the tyre does not spin off.
‘‘The pressure built up and because the lid was not tight, the pressure was able to force the lid open. It came out like a missile… and that is why it spewed out 200 meters into the Labadi Trade Fair site and caused the fire,” he said.
Photo Credit: David Andoh of myjoyonline.com