Tragedy averted

TRAGEDY was early this week averted after a fuel tanker caught fire in Lusaka’s heavy industrial area but quick action by fire safety men saved the situation.

Zambia Breweries corporate affairs director Ezekiel Sekele confirmed this and appealed to relevant authorities to avert a possible tragedy.

“The possible consequences of allowing fuel tankers to park in the industrial areas were immeasurable. It is time the relevant authorities took concerted action to put an end to the practice.

“If it were not quick action by a combined team of Zambian Breweries safety personnel and the Lusaka Fire Brigade to quench a fire, a tragedy could not have been averted and could have resulted into a national catastrophe and a high-profile accident that would have tarnished Zambia’s reputation on industrial safety standards,” Mr Sekele said.

He said the rescue teams followed emergency procedures and responded in a timely and professional manner to the incident. He said the Zambian Breweries management along with other businesses were currently engaging the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications, Ministry of Energy, the Police Service,  and the local authorities to highlight the danger of these tankers.

He said there was an urgent need to relocate fuel depots away from high-density industrial areas and ensure strict enforcement of the existing regulations governing the bulk storage and transportation of fuel.

Mr Sekele said it would be helpful if relevant authorities took action before a major disaster happened.

He said Zambia Breweries would avail itself to work with the authorities in whatever capacity to combat the situation.