The timely intervention by the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) last Friday averted a near cataclysm at the Kumasi Shoe Factory enclave, which is struggling to operate, as school children fled for their dear lives.
Known as Lobab School, the school is located nearer the factory which has been struggling to operate fully. Information available to this paper has it that the said enclave has been used for school business for over the years.
The Chronicle investigations established that a Bulk Road Vehicle (BRV) which was discharging gas close by caught fire in the process. The resulting explosion caused think black smoke to billow into the sky of Kyerepatre.
Three people sustaining injuries, and two vehicles destroyed by the explosion.
In an attempt to address this challenge, the Ashanti Regional Fire Command has directed a poly tank producing company, located within the Kumasi Shoe Factory enclave, which The Chronicle understands belongs to a Chinese investor, to halt its operations until it meets fire safety requirements.
Speaking to the media after bringing the situation under control, the Ashanti Regional Fire Commander, ACFO1 Henry Giwah, stressed the need for all companies using gas in their operations to always involve officers of the Ghana National Fire Service when taking delivery of the product.
Mr. Samuel Oteng, Ashanti Regional Director of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), he disclosed that the Agency had asked the factory to suspend operations, adding that in Ghana, the Fire Service is in charge of fire issues. The regional authorities are going to do an assessment to establish the cause of the fire.
According to Mr. Oteng, the company said that gas was being discharged into a tank when the fire broke out..
He added that they had spoken to the management team and have asked them to halt operations and present a report, after which they would meet with stakeholders such as the EPA, GNFS, National Petroleum Authority (NPA), and the Asokwa Municipal Assembly.