The Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Dr Henry Kwabena Kokofu, has ordered the arrest of the owner of Sta Addsams Enterprise, for not showing up since an explosion at its quarry site on Saturday night.
Sta Addsams Enterprise is the owner of Q Omni Quarries at Shama where the explosion occurred.
Dr Kokofu said he was bored that Mr Samuel Twumasi Addo failed to respond to all calls to him.
“Get him arrested. Wherever he is in Accra, look for him. How can you be inhumane?” Dr Kokofu added.
He gave the directive yesterday, when he visited the explosion site at Kobenaandohkrom, near Shama, to assess the situation at the quarry site.
There were allegations that Addo was fronting for some Chinese.
In an interview with journalists, Dr Kokofu described the disaster as “not a pleasant situation at all.”
He said explosives were not supposed to be carried by anybody and wondered why workers in the company did not hint to the EPA about the storage of the ammonium nitrate at the site.
Dr Kokofu added “This is why we continue to say when you see something, say something…If workers had been proactive, this avoidable accident could have been prevented.”
He, therefore, called for attitudinal change among Ghanaian workers.
Dr Kokofu stated “we have observed that people continue to work illegally on our blind side; we are restrategising our monitoring systems and deploying technology to improve our monitoring.”
The Assembly Member of Anto Electoral Area, Emmanuel Owu- Ewe, also reported that since the disaster occurred, his team and other officials had tried to contact Addo, who is in Accra, to come to the site.
“However, despite the assurances, Addo had failed to report since Sunday, and “even his phone is off,” he said.
He confirmed to the Ghanaian Times that five people were dead and that three others were still missing.
“We hope the findings of the committee would deliver justice to the community,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer, of the Minerals Commission, Mr. Martin Ayisi, stressed the need for Ghanaian companies to work in line with stipulated requirements.
Stressing that the company operated illegally, he said “This is what happens when you do things without recourse to due processes.”
The company, Mr Ayisi maintained, had no legal backing to operate though their documents were in the books of the Minerals Commission.
In another development, the Western Regional Security Council has formed a nine-member committee to investigate the circumstances surrounding the explosions at Kwabenandokrom in Anto Aboso in the Shama District of the Western Region.
Members include Chief Director, Western Regional Coordinating Council, Mr Frederick Agyemang (chairman), and representatives of Ghana Police Service, Ghana National Fire Service, Ghana Health Service, Minerals Commission, EPA, National Disaster Management Organisation, Shama and Works Department, Shama.
“This is an issue of life and property and it’s necessary that as matter of urgency, we set up the committee to investigate the matter. The committee is to present a full report in three weeks,” the Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, said.
At the time of the visit, the quarry site was littered with debris, including burnt tyres, equipment and machinery, electrical cables, and burnt safety dresses and boots.
The atmosphere was also enveloped with a strong stench from a huge smoke and putrefaction that gave an impression of the extent of destruction at the quarry site.
The Ghanaian Times gathered that the Kobenaandohkrom community was traumatized and that the disaster had disorganized social and economic activities.