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24.04.2005 General News

Mass burial for Tema Fire victims

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Tema, April 24, GNA - The remains of the 16 out of the 18 workers who perished in the Good Friday fire disaster at the PSC Shipyard at the Tema Harbour were on Saturday laid to rest at the Kpone cemetery. They were given mass burial because their bodies were charred and beyond recognition.

The bodies of two foreigners, Mr Stylianos Pantelis Vatikiotis a Greek and Mr Vikhor Sergey, Russian, are expected to be flown to their countries.

A burial service was held for them at the Tema Industrial Joint Church. In attendance were Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, Minister of Harbour and Railways, Real Admiral John Ghena, the Navy Commander, Osonga Nii Adjei Kraku 11, the Chief of Tema and Mr Samuel Evans Ashong Narh, the Municipal Chief Executive.

The members of parliament for Tema East and Tema West did not show up but Mr Alfred Kwame Agbesi, MP for Ashaiman, attended.

The tributes came from Prof Ameyaw-Akumfi, Sheikh I. C. Quaye, the Greater Accra Regional Minister and Mr Ashong-Narh. Prof Ameyaw-Akumfi described that day as "Black Friday" for Ghanaians as the government and entire Ghanaians were devastated by the catastrophe.

He said the nation shared the pain with them and that the government was determined to unravel the mystery surrounding the incident.

In a sermon, Rev Fr Maclean Kumi advised the bereaved families not to allow the death to dampen their spirits but rather strengthen them and to resolve to resist injustice in society and to fight for the truth. He said the significance in the death was that it happened on a Good Friday when many years ago Christ Jesus died to save humanity.

Rev Fr Kumi appealed to Ghanaians to resist oppression and to live in peace ''so that together we can build homes and the country.'' Fire broke out on a Togolese registered vessel, MV Polaris owned by a Greek, that was undergoing maintenance work at the PSC Shipyard. A seven-member committee under the chairmanship of Nana Owusu Nsiah, a former Inspector-General of Police, is investigating the circumstance that led to the disaster.

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