Four die in gas explosion at Tulip Inn Hotel

A gas explosion at the Tulip Inn Hotel at Shiashie in Accra, has claimed the lives of four employees after all attempts to save their lives at the hospital proved unsuccessful.

The incident, which occurred around 1:00pm on September 26, 2017 in the hotel’s kitchen, affected the four hospitality staff – Francis Dzigbor, electrician; Emmanuel Baffoe Gyan, gas technician; Alex Akomani, cook; and William Gbedemashie, driver.

Family aggrieved

Some of the bereaved families have pointed accusing fingers at the hotel’s authorities for their failure to urgently make financial commitment towards the treatment of their loved ones.

The family of Mr. Dzigbor blamed the hotel authorities for their late financial commitment towards his treatment at the Nyaho Medical Centre that compelled the hospital to write to the management of the Tulip Inn Hotel announcing the transfer of the victim to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

Portions of a medical report on Mr. Dzigbor to the management of the Tulip Inn Hotel, a copy of which the Daily Graphic has, said: “He has been discharged on account of financial constraints following a discussion with his employer regarding payment of his bills.

“His employer has been notified to facilitate his transfer to a tertiary institution. The immediate family has been informed,” it said.

Management disagrees

When contacted, an official at the Tulip Inn Hotel, Mr Matthew Agbi, disagreed with the doctor’s report, saying that the hotel paid for the cost of Mr. Dzigbor’s treatment and, therefore, could not have been the case that his transfer was the result of financial constraints.

Mr. Agbi ,who is an accountant and purchasing officer at the hotel, told the Daily Graphic that the hospital demanded about GH¢57,000 to cover the total cost of treatment of the four employees who were initially admitted to the facility, but the hotel could not immediately raise that amount.

He said the hotel advanced GH¢21,000 as the amount accrued to cover the medical bills for Mr. Dzigbor, but the hospital insisted on payments on the treatment cost of the four employees.

According to Mr. Agbi, investigations are still ongoing to establish the cause of the incident.

Litany of explosions

Recent gas explosions across the country have claimed many lives, leaving experts to attribute the phenomenon to the failure by institutions to put safety measures to prevent such disasters.

In May 2017, one person was reported dead, with five others injured, as a result of gas explosion at a welding shop at Lamashegu, a suburb of Tamale, in the Northern Region.

The explosion was said to involve acetylene, a colourless gas widely used as a fuel.

Also in June this year, an explosion at a fuel pump at the Pioneer Food Cannery (PFC), a tuna canning company in Tema, killed two persons and left five others with various degrees of burns.

Similarly, in May 2017, about 50 people (including personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service) sustained varying degrees of injury in Sekondi following a multiple gas explosion.