The nine-member committee tasked to investigate the explosion at Omni Quarry, at Kobenaandohkrom in the Shama District, has recommended a cancellation of the company’s lease agreement.
It also directed that, owners of the facility, now StaAdssams Enterprise, should bear all costs, including bills of affected households, compensation packages, interim security of the place and other expenses that would be incurred by the Shama assembly, which is taking provisional care of the site.
The Coordinating Director, Western Regional Coordinating Council, Mr Frederick Agyemang, announced the recommendations of the committee at a news conference at Sekondi, on Thursday after the report had been presented to the Regional Minister, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah.
According to the committee, Omni Quarry did not adhere to safety measures in all their operations, adding “We discovered that the storage of unauthorised chemicals kept under high heat regime due to poor ventilation was the cause of the explosion”.
The chairman of the committee recommended that organisations responsible for safety played their oversight role very well to avoid any future occurrence, stressing that “the needed safety measures should be enforced at the company’s premises by the relevant organisations”.
Other recommendations included the decentralisation of the licensing regime by the regulatory agencies to speed up the process of acquiring certification to avert the situation where such companies operated at the blind side of authorities.
There should also be an effective inter-agency monitoring and supervision to ensure that such companies operated in the confines of the laws of the country and no permit to store explosives, Mr Agyemang told journalists.
Receiving the report, the Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, assured that the WRCC would work swiftly with all agencies concerned to sanitise the regulatory regime.
He was happy about the dedication of the committee members in executing their task to establish the cause of the explosion, safety issues and authorisation of their operations among other things.
Members of the committee included representatives of the security services, Minerals Commission, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Works Engineer, Assembly member of the area and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), all from the Shama District Assembly.
In all, 790 households, involving 11 communities were affected by the Omni Quarry explosion that claimed six lives including two Chinese.
At about 10.30 pm on Saturday, September 9, an explosion occurred at the Sta Addsams Enterprise, originally Q Omni, causing a huge devastation to lives, buildings and properties.
There were also deep cracks along the earth belt at the site.
The explosion, rocked and sent shock waves at Anto Aboso, Assorku Essaman, Ohiamadwen communities, and beyond.