Vice President John Mahama
Vice-President John Mahama has asked the Ministry of Energy and the National Petroleum Authority to urgently embark on an awareness creation drive on the safe handling of petroleum products.
That, he said, would help to minimize or forestall the incidents of gas explosions or explosions that occur in fuel depots.
Vice-President Mahama made the appeal yesterday when he visited victims of the Brawire fuel dump explosion who are on admission at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH).
The explosion, which occurred last Friday at Brawire, a fishing community near Axim in the Nzema East district of the Western Region, initially left three people dead and 26 others seriously injured.
Most of the victims were rushed to the Axim Government Hospital while some were sent to the Effia Nkwanta Hospital. But due to the critical nature of their burns, seven of the victims were airlifted to the KBTH.
However, during the Vice-President’s visit to the Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre of the KBTH, it emerged that out of the seven victims flown in from the Effia Nkwanta Hospital, four have died, while the surviving three were said to be in a “stable but critical condition.”
He stressed the need for circumspection in areas where there were fuel depots or areas where fuel was dispensed so that the safety of the public was not compromised.
Vice-President Mahama observed that the Burns Centre was too crowded and indicated that he would liaise with the Ministry of Health to expand it to be able to cater for more cases.
He said a government delegation would visit the families of the accident victims, following which an assistance package would be worked out for the victims and their families.
Dr. Opoku Ware Ampomah, Director of the Centre, who took the Vice-President and his entourage round the wards, said the victims were severely burnt when they were flown in last Friday.
He said the situation of the surviving three would be closely monitored and acknowledged that the situation required a lot of manpower to handle.
“We are also expecting some of the victims to be transferred from Effia Nkwanta today,” he said and cautioned the public to be careful with the handling of gas cylinders as the incidents of burns were on the ascendancy.