By Abdoulie John
Following the devastating explosion at Touba Gas processing plant, Gambia’s President Adama Barrow on Monday found an atmosphere of destruction and desolation in Kanifing Industrial Estate. The disaster has left dilapidated buildings, destruction of properties including a good number of vehicles burnt to ashes.
“It is important for me to come and see it for myself,” the Gambian leader told journalists after touring with his entourage the devastated area.
The gas plant blast that occurred Sunday night was marked by huge explosions, causing major damages to the facility and the surrounding structures. The firefighters, who were sent to battle the massive fire outbreak, were able to control the situation.
“We cannot thank enough the fire service team for doing a good work under very difficult circumstances,” Barrow said while describing the disaster as a “very unfortunate situation.”
“We are to see and assess what we are going to do next,” he added.
President Barrow also announced the setting up of an inquiry team that would shed light on the circumstances that led to the gas plant disaster, and also assess whether safety management rules are being followed by other companies.
He made it clear that gov’t is determined to offer the necessary support to those who have been affected by the explosions and blast wave.
The Minister of Environment, Lamin B. Dibba, who also spoke to reporters, said their team is on the ground doing an assessment and determine the type of relief response needed.
Dibba then assured that no casualties have been reported so far.
For his part, the proprietor of Kishen Enterprise, which is adjacent to the gas plant, said the explosions inflicted an estimated 15 millions dalasis losses.
“This is all my hardword,” said Kishan Roopchand before breaking into tears.
He revealed that the gas was leaking since Saturday, prompting many to sound the alarm bell.
He said Touba Gas management failed to take into consideration their complaints.