Siphoning fuel at accident scenes dangerous — Fire Service
The general public has been cautioned against siphoning fuel from tankers involved in accidents since such practice puts their lives in danger.
People have also been advised against buying fuel from unauthorised sources such as table-tops, but rather from designated fuel dumps to avoid using contaminated fuel for their machines.
Both the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) and the Executive Secretary of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers, Duncan Amoah, gave the caution in an interview Friday.
They were reacting to news of some squatters living along the Tema Motorway who siphoned fuel from a tanker that was involved in an accident on the motorway yesterday morning at about 5:15 a.m.
The bulk road vehicle (BRV) truck was heading to Accra from Tema when it overturned and fell.
The truck with registration number, GE 4130 - 20, was transporting 45,000 litres of diesel when the accident occurred.
The accident, which occurred some 50 metres away from the Accra end of the tollbooth, attracted a huge crowd of squatters with some bringing containers, popular known as "Kufuor gallons", to siphon the fuel.
The incident caused a gridlock on the motorway with motorists being held up for hours; the situation was made worst by some impatient drivers who tried manoeuvring their way through unapproved routes.
Personnel from the Fire Service, however, managed to pull the tanker off the road to ease traffic.
As of 11 a.m. when the Daily Graphic visited the scene, many of the squatters had left and the few who were still around were seen scooping fuel from a nearby stream along the storm drains from the East Legon Boundary Road linking the motorway.
Briefing the Daily Graphic, the Director of Public Relations of Fire Service, Timothy Afful, said personnel, who were dispatched to the scene at about 5:20 a.m., were made to foam extinguish the scene to prevent a possible fire as a result of the high hazard nature of the product.
To ward off the crowd, a police reinforcement team, he said, was also called in to manage traffic.
Mr Afful advised people to take a cue from tragedies that had occurred under similar circumstances in the past and stay away from such scenes for their safety.
For his part, Mr Amoah said: “Apart from inhaling the highly combustible substance which could harm their respiratory system, they also put others at risk as the main aim of their action was to sell the product for profit.
“People are ignorant and there is a need to scale up education on the hazard of such practices,” he added.
“Siphoning fuel from tankers that are involved in accidents is very common, but it is a very dangerous action because once a tanker is already in distress, there is the tendency to easily catch fire due to the highly flammable content it carries,” he added.