The Lagos State Government has cleared Second Coming Gas Plant to restart operations, and has moved to redesign all gas plants in the state to meet with the expected safety standards and reduce the rate of loss of lives and property.
The State Safety Commission Director General, Hakeem Dickson, said this at a press conference which took place on Monday, 26 January in Alausa, Ikeja.
Dickson said after investigations by the commission, Nigerian Institute of Safety Engineers (NISE), experts in forensics, Fire experts and Liquefied petroleum (LP) Gas Plant, it was realized that the accident at Second Coming was caused by gas leakage, and the state government has cleared them.
“The 11-man team mandated to investigate the fire accident which occurred on January 15 reported that it was just an accident and accident can happen any time. During the investigation, they realized that there is low level of training and the company need to increase the safety standards they apply into the business.
“Now that they are going back into business, the commission would be there to monitor the reconstruction to ensure there is compliance to safety measures.
“Before they officially begin operation again, it is our job to educate those in the environment on safety measures; we are going to have a community meeting to educate them on what to do and what not to do, as well as what needs to be put in place.”
Dickson, who said that the clamour for the use of domestic gas had led to the proliferation of gas stations and vendors across the state, emphasized the need for strict compliance to safety standards before the establishment of any gas plant, adding that the state government would not compromise on safety of lives and property.
The Chairman of the Investigation Team, Peter Onyeri, who informed the press that the team’s goals were to find out the root cause of the incident and to make recommendations for effective safety management of gas plants in the state, said that the committee recommended a safety case report.
Onyeri said: “There must be on and off sight emergency response plan; there must be a proper safety culture that encourages reporting, learning and flexibility for people to understand what LPG is all about.
“Facilities as this can stay there up to 20 years and noting happens because they are highly protected because the consequences of an accident are too high. The system should be highly protected, both in training, engineering technology and regulations. The problem is not where the facility is located, it is the risk control set up for the facility which is usually sophisticated. It is usually carelessness that triggers off such. The trigger of the explosion at Second Coming is that there was an ignition of vapour cloud.”
The Director-General said, “The commission will study the report and ensure effective follow-up and compliance with the recommendations. The Lagos State Government will not compromise on the safety of lives and property.”