Ghanaian fuel stations face closure after deadly explosion

A fuel station explosion that killed over 100 people in Accra prompts govt crackdown on illegal fuel stations

Ghanaian fuel stations face closure after deadly explosion

World Bulletin / News Desk

Ghana has closed several fuel stations operating illegally or running sub-standard operations in the wake of a fuel station explosion that killed over 100 people in the capital Accra earlier this month.

Ghanian Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation Mahama Ayariga, who is leading the campaign, said the move was to ensure compliance with permits.

Ghana has over 300 fuel stations whose operations have been approved by the government.

The minister said, however, that license agreements were being breached.

“After the issuance of the permits, they add on activities that were not permitted in the original permits that were issued to them,” Ayariga told journalists in Accra.

“We are going to go round all the stations, even those that we know have permits, to see if they have added on activities which endanger all of us who go to those stations to refuel,” the minister said.

“Some of them have added kitchens and restaurants, some have added places for roasting kebabs and guinea fowl, and they are using LPG receptacles there that endanger all of us,” Ayariga said.

The Environmental Protection Agency has expressed reservations with fuel stations being located in populated areas.

The task force charged with inspecting fuel stations has closed some of them, and ordered others to be demolished.

On June 3, a fuel station belonging to the state-owned Ghana Oil Company exploded during a rainstorm, killing over a hundred people seeking shelter there at the time.

The explosion led to a new wave of checks instituted by the ministry to ensure standards are being met.

Owners of some of the stations have protested the inspections. Some have even threatened to head to the courts because, according to them, they have been duly licensed.

About 10 stations have so far been closed down by the minister’s task force and inspections are ongoing.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Haziran 2015, 15:38