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26.03.2005 General News

Ten more bodies recovered from burnt-out ship

By GNA
Ten more bodies recovered from burnt-out ship
MAR 26, 2005 GENERAL NEWS

Tema, March 26, GNA - Ten more charred bodies were on Saturday retrieved from the fishing vessel that burnt at the PSC Tema Shipyard on Good Friday.

This brings the number of bodies so far retrieved to 13, firemen told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at the Tema Harbour on Saturday Organisation searching for more bodies from the Greek-registered vessel, MV Polaris, which was completely burnt in the fire.

The fire damaged vital facilities like the VRA pumping house, TOR pumping house, VALCO conveyor belt as well as a cold store and a shipping company.

However, the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) on Saturday assured the nation of normal fuel supplies to the market saying the burning of its fuel pipeline during a fire outbreak should not cause any alarm. Dr Kofi Kodua Sarpong, Managing Director of TOR, said in the interim, the refinery had shut down the Crude Distillation Unit and started operating the Residual Fluidised Catalytic Cracking (RFCC) plant to produce gasoline and LPG to ensure uninterrupted supply of fuel products.

Dr Sarpong said with the operation of the RFCC, there was no cause for alarm since the burning of the pipeline would not disrupt operations.

According to reliable sources, the fire was caused by spillage of oil from the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) pipeline that had been leaking for the past one week.

Mr Stephen Quansah, a mechanic, told the GNA that he and his colleagues were working on the vessel in the morning when they heard an explosion.

The fire was ignited when fire coming from the repair works on the vessel came into contact with the spilled oil on the water. Fire Fighters from the Ghana National Fire Service, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and TOR battled the fire for several hours.

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