…Negligence, Illegal siphoning caused Ugbor gas explosion in Edo – Panel
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said that a white paper on the report of the Investigative Panel on the youths/police clash in upper Igun Area, in Benin City, will be issued in 30 days’ time.
Obaseki disclosed this when he received report of the panel led by Retired Justice Joseph Olubor, at the Government House in Benin City, Edo State.
He said, “Within the next 30 days, we will go through the report and issue a white paper on the issue. We are committed to the well-being and safety of our people. We will get to the bottom of this report and take the necessary action to ensure justice is done in the matter. I assure you that this report will not be left in the shelf.”
Obaseki added, “Sometimes, it is not easy to get to the truth of issues of this magnitude, but we have no choice but to select credible and intelligent people to help us get the truth out.”
Chairman of the panel, retired President of Customary Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Joseph Olubor, said, “26 witnesses appeared before the panel to give evidence on the incident. The numbers reveal how members of the public are ready to assist the panel in its work to get the truth of what happened on that day.”
Meanwhile, the Investigative Panel on Ugbor Gas explosion has revealed that the incident was caused by negligence and illegal siphoning of gas at the gas station.
Chairman, Administrative Panel of Inquiry on the Incident of Gas Explosion at Ugbor, Justice Peter Isibor, made the revelation when the panel submitted its report to Governor Obaseki, at the Government House in Benin City.
Justice Isibor said, “Findings of the panel revealed that the three victims who died due to the gas explosion were staff of the gas station whose proprietor is one Mr. Idemudia Osagie, while a trainee with the station was admitted for 23-degree burns.”
“The panel also gathered that the three staff members who died from the explosion did not heed to the station manager’s instruction not to tamper with the gas installation within the premises. They went ahead to siphon gas from the plant for their personal use. The explosion was triggered when a generator set was switched on to enable them siphon the gas,” he said.
Isibor said the gas plant was illegally set up, as the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) revealed that the station has no permission and licence to operate. At the time of the explosion, the station lacked water hydrant and gas detector as precautionary measures.”
Governor Obaseki said the report will be passed on to the Secretary to the State Government to develop policies that will regulate the activities of gas stations in the state and prevent similar occurrence in the future.