Kpone tanker explosion probe experiences setback over absence of key witnesses

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Investigations into circumstances that led to the explosion at the Kpone tank farm in the Greater Accra Region have been put on hold.

This is due to the absence of some relevant witnesses to permit officials of the Ghana National Fire Service carry out its probe.

Second-in-Command of the Tema office of the Fire Service, Timothy Osafo Afum in a Citi News interview said, investigations will be concluded if these witnesses make themselves available next Monday.

“We were not able to complete the investigations so we will continue on Monday. There are a few more people we have to interview to confirm what we have. We have others who were at the scene at the time of the outbreak and we have to interview them as well. If we are able to get all of them depending on their availability on Monday, then we may come to a conclusion. If not, then we may have to wait for a while.”

Fire gutted a tanker yard around the Kpone tank farm area last Wednesday.

About 15 fuel tankers were affected by the inferno.

Six fire tenders from various fire stations were dispatched to the fire to control the blaze that took several hours to douse.

Persons adulterating fuel caused Kpone tanker explosions – COPEC

The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) blamed the explosion on illegal activities being carried out by persons adulterating fuel.

In a statement, the Chamber said the development must be a trigger for stringent measures to be adopted to prevent fuel diversion and adulteration.

“Reports of premix fuel diversions abound and we expect authorities to clamp down heavily on these operators who are engaged in this illegal trade of diverting premix fuel meant for fishing boats, to some tank yards to be adulterated with other petroleum products for onward sale and discharge at some specific fuel stations.”

The cause of the fire is yet to be officially announced but COPEC said, “Intelligence sources indicate the blast had been occasioned by some illegal activities resulting from the boxing of some premix fuel with PMS and AGO using manual pumps in the process.”

COPEC cautioned that if such activities are not curtailed, the country risks losing much-needed revenue and motorists will be left with complex issues with their vehicles from the use of adulterated fuel hthat is “below the acceptable minimum national specifications and standards.”

It also called for the persons responsible for the incident to be punished.

“We further call on the NPA and the Ghana Standards Authority to immediately conduct an audit trail of all such products sent to some of these tanker yards and the fuel stations that buy or patronize such products in order to protect the unsuspecting public from the harm adulteration does to our engines as any attempts to cover or protect the perpetrators will be countenanced,” COPEC added in its statement.

Source: citinewsroom.com