modernghana logo

FEATURED STORY What Isaac Kyei Andoh Of Ghana Wrote To Yours Truly!...

27 September 2010 | Regional News

Four die in a fire outbreak at Tema Port

Ghanaian Chronicle
(left) The charred remains of one of the victims. (middle) The blazing fire. (right) One of the tankers on fire
(left) The charred remains of one of the victims. (middle) The blazing fire. (right) One of the tankers on fire

Four persons were last Saturday burnt beyond recognition, when fire swept through the storage facilities and offices of Midland International Ghana Limited at the Tema Port, outside the bonded area of the Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority (GPHA).

A tanker, with registration number GT 2109 W, a double cabin pick-up, and a fork-lift parked in the premises of the company, were also burnt in the blazing fire, which brought economic activities within the entire port area to an abrupt halt.

Hundreds of people, both workers at the port and passersby, including those who came to the port to transact one form of business or the other, swarmed the area to catch a glimpse of what was going on there.

More than six fire tenders were brought in from the Tema office of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority (GPHA), and Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) to help extinguish the fire.

Officials of the company and the GNFS, who were around, refused to talk to members of the media, who thronged the area to cover the sad event.

But, eyewitnesses say there was a leakage in one of the valves of one of the storage tanks, and therefore, a company, M & B Engineering, was hired to come and fix the problem.

The tankers, which usually contain alcohol meant for the production of local alcoholic drinks, were almost empty.

Consequently, around 7:30 a.m. on that fateful day, two welders from M & B Engineering Company arrived at the premises of the company to work on the leakage.

Around 4:00 p.m., eyewitnesses say they heard a deafening explosion, which threw the two welders from the top of the tank, where they were welding on to the ground, which is about a 50-meter drop.

One of them, on hitting the ground, died instantly, but because of the blistering heat, no one could go close to the area to pick the body, which led to it burning beyond recognition.

The other welder however, managed to lift himself up, and some good Samaritans rushed him to the Tema General Hospital (TGH), but he could not make it.

Two other persons, who were also workers of the M & B Engineering Company, including the engineer, one Mr. Mike Sarfo Mensah, were also found yesterday morning burnt in one of the tankers.

The Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, Robert Kempes Ofosuware, and the Tema Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Augustine Gyenning, expressed Mr. Ofosuware was not happy that such a thing could happen to the company, judging from the level of destruction caused at the place. He hinted that he would hold a meeting with members of the Security and Justice Committee of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA), after which he would make his decision on the issue public.