The Committee tasked to investigate the cause of the June 3 fire disaster at the Goil filling station has revealed that a lit cigarette triggered the fire.
“The dropping of the lit cigarette stub by Seth Kwesi Ofosu onto the floating fuel was the ultimate or immediate cause of the fire,” the report stated.
Addressing the press, Chairman of the committee, Mr Justice Isaac Delali Douse added that “we are not in the position to determine his [Ofosu] actual status so we have handed him to the security agencies to investigate and arrive at a conclusion whether or not he intentionally caused arson.
Properties worth over GH¢1 million destroyed
The five member committee inaugurated on June 16, 2015 to investigate the possible causes of the June 3, 2015 disaster at the Circle Goil filling station on Friday presented its report to the Minister of the Interior, Mark Owen Woyongo at a ceremony in Accra.
Chaired by Mr Justice Isaac Douse, a retired Appeal Court Judge, the Committee was to assess the cost of damage as a result of the disaster and submit recommendations.
[contextly_sidebar id=”XUHdLGcoSbE1SsFjGqmpM6afIg9djBSV”]According to Mr Douse, the report is based on information provided by individuals, who appeared before the committee to assist them in their investigations.
He said five houses, including the Goil filling station suffered various degrees of damages, as a result of the fire, valued at GH1,658,847.00, adding that, other properties suffered minor damages, which have not been valued.
Seventeen motor vehicles, including a fuel tanker were burnt beyond repair, a mini mart located within the filling station, Bediako Pharmacy and the Honest Chef Restaurant were completely destroyed.
The Chairman said Seth Kwesi Ofosu, who caused the ignition has been discovered by the security agencies and is currently helping the security agencies with investigations to ascertain whether his action was intentional or otherwise, in which 154 persons lost their lives, with 154 persons sustaining various degrees of injuries.
The committee recommended the complete dredging of the Odaw River, banning the use of plastics as carrier bags, water dispensers and cooked food containers.
Standardized training, certification and licensing of fuel station attendants, creation of sanitation police, compulsory fitting of all commercial vehicles with refuse baskets or bins should be ensured, and also, disaster managers should be equipped with the requisite tools to effectively handle disasters.
They also recommended the provision of air ambulances and helicopters fire fighters, which should be managed by the Ghana Air Force and urged government to set up a fund to cater for the injured and deceased families.
Mr Douse said it was observed that properties affected in the disaster were not insured with the exception of the Goil Filling station.
The Committee observed that people expose themselves to the dangers of secondary explosion, when they rush to disaster scenes as spectators or sympathizers and advised the public to be cautious.
The Chairman said the recommendations are directed at making sure that this kind of disaster never occurs again and even if it occurs its effects can be managed.
Mr Woyongo said the committee had done a thorough job, despite having only one month to carry out investigations, adding that, the report would be forwarded to the President.
Other members of the Committee are Mr. Wise Ametefe, Chairman of Hydromet Committee- NADMO; Colonel M. Mustapha, from the Ghana Armed Forces; Chief Supt. Raymond Simpi of the Ghana Police Service and DCFO William J. Mensah of the Ghana National Fire Service
By: citifmonline.com/Ghana (With additional files from GNA)