01.04.2005 General News

Maritime Board assures cooperation with Fire Committee

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Tema, April 1, GNA - The Maritime Authority Board (MAB) on Friday assured the seven-member committee investigating the Tema port fire disaster of its fullest cooperation to enable it to come out with a comprehensive and appropriate report.

The MAB therefore pledged to put their expertise at the disposal of the committee to achieve the aim.

The committee, which has Mr William Ansa-Otu as the chairman, gave the assurance when members visited the fire scene at the PSC Tema Shipyard to see the extent of damage and possibly make recommendations to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

The disaster claimed 15 lives and devastated national installations as well as a Togolese registered vessel MV Polaris.

Vital facilities which were burnt in the Good Friday fire included the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) pipeline and pumping house, a VALCO conveyor belt and the Manna House, housing various fishing companies.

Mr Ansa-Otu said the MAB would send a report on the Fire and make recommendations to guide other IMO countries to forestall future occurrences.

The members described the disaster as unfortunate and hoped individuals and establishments would learn from it and be safety conscious to save lives and property.

Two persons - Mr Stephen Quansah and Mr James Kemavor - who were also working in the vessel, escaped death by swimming ashore shortly before the ferocious explosion.

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