President Nana Akufo-Addo
Cabinet is expected to meet today to deliberate on the deadly gas explosion at Atomic Junction, Accra last Saturday that has triggered spontaneous debate regarding how petroleum products are being handled in the country.
Seven people, including a cameraman working with NET2 Television, who was stationed at the presidency, Mohammed Ashiley Yakubu, were killed and 132 others sustained various degrees of burns and were rushed to various hospitals for medical attention.
Sources say the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government is said to be considering far-reaching safety measures as lasting solution to the spate of gas explosions and fire outbreaks, and the crunch meeting is expected to set the tone.
After visiting the scene of the explosion and the hospitals where the victims were receiving treatment, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, promised to act swiftly with the right policies to forestall fuel and gas explosion in the country.
“The time for talking is over and that the time for action is now!” President Akufo-Addo said after the visit.
“Cabinet will be meeting on Thursday, October 12, 2017 and I believe, out of that meeting, the country will know what our programme is, the comprehensive programme we intend to have to bring such incidents to a stop,” he said.
He made a passionate appeal to industry players “to recognise that we all have to make adjustments to be able to guarantee the safety and security of our people, so these things do not happen again.”
President Akufo-Addo underscored, “I need the support and the cooperation of the people of Ghana to make sure that the policies that we will be bringing out succeed, so that such incidents become a thing of the past and not of our future.”
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, who visited the scene and the hospitals earlier said, “This is one too many. This is about the eighth explosion that has happened in three years, and I think what Ghanaians really want are solid policies to deal with this once and for all. We are going to move to deal with it.”
He added, “It is not about committees upon committees and nothing gets done. I think that we owe it to the country and the government is going to take this very seriously. We are going to move quite quickly to do it. It is not going to be one that you will wait weeks for it to happen. It is going to happen relatively quickly.”
It is now becoming clear that barring any hitches, the investigation into the circumstances leading to the deadly gas explosion will be concluded, and the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) is expected to submit to government its report by the end of the week.
Public Relations Officer of GNFS, Prince Billy Anaglate, said on Joy FM in Accra that the report is “90 percent completed,” adding that the investigator had spoken to all those whose accounts of the explosion were vital to the final report.
“We have done all that it takes. All the information regarding the investigation has been taken, and we are close to submitting our report,” he maintained.
In the initial stages, Mr Anaglate described reports suggesting that last Saturday evening’s inferno was started by a khebab seller nearby as unfortunate.
By William Yaw Owusu