No ambulance to convey Sentuo explosion victims to hospital
The victims of last Saturday’s disaster at Sentuo Ghana Limited, a steel manufacturing company in Tema, were conveyed to the Tema General Hospital in a tipper truck, after they had been left unattended to for a long time, The Chronicle has gathered.
Prior to their departure to the health facility, the flesh of the deceased, Cephas Tsedie, was reported to have got stuck to a bench in the company, where he and 11 others were positioned, while they awaited an ambulance, only for the tipper truck to surface.
The Chronicle’s investigations had revealed that the location of two combustible installations within the Tema Heavy Industrial Area was the most insensitive decision that one could ever conceive.
This was contained in its publication of October 4, 2016, where for allowing Sentuo Ghana Limited to share a wall with Tema Fueltrade Limited Tank Farm, the paper had warned of looming danger.
Last Saturday, October 22, a little over two weeks after that exposé, disaster struck at the Chinese majority shareholding steel plant, killing one Cephas Tsedie, a native of Nyamgbo Sroe, near Hohoe in the Volta Region, with about 11 others having various degrees of injuries.
When an investigative team, which included the military, was asked to look into the matter, observers expected them to check the types of metal scraps that were picked by the magnetic crane, ready for the high temperature arc furnace of about 1,670 degrees Celsius to melt into molten.
However, the paper gathered that the furnace does not have anything in common with the likes of automobile shock absorbers, sealed cylinders, water, oil and materials with vacuum.
Another area of serious concern is the presence of military ordnances in scrap metal that are sold to the steel manufacturers.
An official of Sentuo, who wants to remain anonymous, stated that such ordinances are common among scrap metal and that is why it takes experts to physically supervise the sorting of the materials.
He cited the recent discovery of a bomb at Sentuo among scrap materials, which bomb experts from the Base Ammunition Depot (BAD) at Tema Michel Camp were made to take custody of.
In the early eighties, workmen undertaking excavations at the Western Gate end of the Tema Port landed on some strange items later identified as ordinances in a probable deserted bunker, which the British High Commission assisted to dispose of, citing remnants of global wars.
Along the Halcrow Beach, to the west of the Tema Port, in early 2000, two children of a pastor, who had gone to the beach to pray with a group, were blown away, after they picked an object in the resemblance of an orange, which detonated.
Residents of Tema Community Five have also not forgotten the incident in which a Highly Explosive (HE) bomb detonated and caused considerable damage to nearby buildings.
In that tragic occurrence, a man digging a trench for the construction of a fence wall, exhumed the long object, later gathered rubbish into a heap and unknowingly set fire to it.
Bomb experts from BAD, led by Colonel Samuel Larweh (then Major), following the publication of the Community Five averted disaster were called upon to take custody of two similar HE bombs in a home at Baatsona.
According to the residents of the then newly developing area, they placed order for trucks of soil to fill a swampy place and while the tipper lowered the bucket, two long metals rolled out.
Mistaking them for ordinary metals, a carpenter took possession of one of them, which served as a device he used to straighten his nails, while a middle-aged woman used the other as a material on which she cracked palm kennel.
The “Fitterline” at Ashaiman, a few years ago, also witnessed a nasty incident when a man attempted removing a silver-lining from a long metal, which resulted in a fatality.
Guided by the above, experts have wondered what could be the fate of lives and properties should any such devices find their way into the steel company as metals to be crushed, with the 7 tank farm sitting just a wall away.
It is reported by eyewitnesses of last Saturday’s disaster that during the explosion, some particles allegedly flew from the scene to the scrap yard – which shares a common wall with the Tema Fueltrade Company tank farm.