Task Force submits report on Brikama Elton inferno
Thursday, June 21, 2012
The Task Force set-up by the Office of the Governor of West Coast Region to investigate the cause of the fire incident that engulfed the Elton Brikama Station, Tuesday submitted a draft of its findings to Lamin Sanneh, the governor of West Coast Region.
The Task Force was mandated to look into the cause of the fire, safety and security, contingency plans in the event of disaster and the extent of the damage incurred by victims. According to the findings , the fire was caused by a tanker truck that caught fire as a result of a fault from the truck delivery system while discharging fuel. The fire, the report noted, damaged the Elton forecourt canopy, dispensers and pump and spread to some of the neighbouring shops adjacent to the fuel service station. “The incident would have been more disastrous if the fuel service station was not equipped with firefighting and suppression equipment,” the report indicated.
The report went further to state that the station was found to be equipped with automatic shut-off valves that prevented the fire from reaching the underground storage tanks hence preventing a greater tragedy. In the same vein, the height of the walls is also a contributing factor to preventing further havoc to the adjacent house.
In order to avert such incidents from happening again, the report recommended that fuel service station attendants, occupants of the service stations, tanker drivers and customers be requested to heed to fuel service station signs and procedures and implement the recommendations that will be given later by the Task Force.
The Task Force also recommended that all existing Fuel Service Stations operating in the country must prepare a Disaster Preparedness Plan and submit it to the relevant stakeholders. “Training must be conducted to raise the capacity of staff at all levels particularly Health and Safety at work. Tank drivers and their assistants should have regular training on product management and handling and defensive driving and be certified. Any truck driver cannot be a Fuel Tanker driver. Before one qualifies to be a tanker driver, he/she has to be well trained and certified. Tanker vehicle must be inspected and certified prior to loading and discharge of fuel product,” the report further stated.
Reacting to the report, the governor of West Coast Region, Lamin Sanneh, thanked the Task Force for what he called a good job. He also thanked Elton for their dedication to safety, saying that if there were no proper plans put in place by Elton it would have been disastrous.
The Task Force comprised of staff of the NDMA, fuel service station operators, NEA, Fire and Rescue Services, Police, Governor’s Office, DPPH, Ministry of Petroleum, the Media and other stakeholders.
Author: by Modou Kanteh