Listening to eye witness accounts of sequence of events, it was clear that a disaster had been in the making in Kanifing Industrial Estate. There are more questions than answers on how and why this major industrial disaster happened. We may or may not know the exact cause of the gas explosion or who was responsible for it.
Another toothless independent commsission of inquiry will surely be established again to look into whether the gas company has the necessary legal rights to operate and what precautions were put in place. Has the company followed safety regulations? Why such companies are operating in densely populated areas? Which government institution issued the license and on what grounds were the license issued?
It should not be Pateh, Samba or Kumar acquring license to operate dangerous business like gas without fulfilling the necessary requirements. We have to answer all the vital questions if we want to get to the bottom of the fire as well as avoid any future disaster of this magnitude. The security and lives of citizens are very important and as such allowing such dangerous companies like a gas company to operate in the midst of populated areas is a disaster in the waiting.
I will not hasten to draw any final conclusion into the real cause of the incident. So far, what is known or being speculated clearly proves complete negligence and arrogance on the side of the Gas Company.
This is the worst industrial disaster in the history of the country. It is a disaster that affected many companies as well as shattered livelihoods. The government needs to step up to assist some affected families. Imagine how many people are affected directly or indirectly by this disaster? Jobs have been lost, businesses being put out of operation in a matter of seconds while fear looms over Kanifing residents. Its impact will be felt across the length and bredth of the country. After the worst industrial disaster in modern Gambia, the discussion should focus on how this fire could have been avoided? Looking into the circumstances leading to the fire, and the area where this particular gas company was operating, one could certainly hint that yes, it could have been avoided. Now that it has happened, our hearts and empathy should be extended to all affected people. We pray and hope that a thorough investigation by the responsible authorities will be conducted and those responsible will be held accountable.
LET US NOT SEE THIS YET AGAIN AS ANOTHER DIVINE HAPPENING AND LEAVE IT IN THE HANDS OF ALLAH (SWT) AS WE NORMALLY DO IN OUR SOCIETY AND ALLOW PEOPLE TO EXCAPE CRIMES THEY HAVE COMMITTED. A CRIME COULD HAVE BEEN COMMITTED HERE. IT SHOULD BE TREATED AS SUCH UNTIL PROVEN OTHERWISE.
I PRAY FOR THE VICTIMS
Alhagi Touray Sweden, Stockholm