30.03.2005 General News

Cttee to investigate PSC Tema Shipyard fire inaugurated

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Accra, March 30, GNA - The Committee set up by the Government to investigate the fire outbreak at the PSC Tema Shipyard and Drydock Slipway on Good Friday was inaugurated in Accra on Wednesday. The seven-member committee chaired by Nana Owusu-Nsiah, Immediate-Past Inspector-General of Police (IGP), would begin work on Thursday, March 31 and submit its findings within two weeks.

The members are Commodore Moses Beick-Baffour, Maritime Security Coordinator; Mr William Mensah, Deputy Chief Fire Officer and Mr H.A.L. Imbeah, Chief Director, National Security Secretariat.

The rest are Dr M. Apiagyie-Gyamfi, Director of Petroleum at the Ministry of Energy, Commodore Mathew Quarshie, from the Ghana Navy and Mr Ato Ewusie Wilson, Legal Practitioner, who is a Member/Secretary. It is to come up with a report to enable the Government to determine the next possible course of action in the fire outbreak that destroyed some facilities of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), VALCO, and a fishing vessel MV Polaris.

At least 15 people perished in the inferno.

The Committee established with directives from President John Agyekum Kufuor is to investigate the cause of the fire, assess the extent of damage and examine its implications.

It is to submit the recommendations for action and future guidance and investigate any other matters as the committee may deem fit.

Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, Minister for Harbours and Railways, who inaugurated the Committee, said the Government and the people of Ghana deserved to know the truth about the tragedy. He said the Committee must investigate whether safety measures at the time were relaxed or whether the structural arrangements at the location were the best.

Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi said the task of the Committee was onerous considering the time frame and the circumstances surrounding the fire outbreak.

"Indeed, with the background and the expertise of the membership of the Committee I have no doubt that you will be able to work assiduously to meet the expectations of the stakeholders and the nation as a whole."

He called on the public and all interested parties to cooperate with the Committee to enhance its work, which would help to forestall recurrence.

Nana Owusu-Nsiah, Chairman of the Committee, said it would work assiduously to unravel the cause of the fire and come up with the necessary recommendations for the next course of action. He expressed the hope that the results would be to the satisfaction of the Government and Ghanaians in general.

A contact number through which people with relevant information could reach the Committee is 022-202563 for phone and 022-202812 for fax.

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