Current Affairs

Current Affairs



Hylton orders LPG safety audit
Observer Reporter
Wednesday, May 22, 2002


HYLTON... this audit is expected to reflect in detail, the state of the LPG industry

ENERGY Minister Anthony Hylton has ordered a safety audit of Jamaica's liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) industry in the wake of last week's gas explosion at a Juici Patties branch in Liguanea which injured eight persons.

"This audit is expected to reflect in detail, the state of the LPG industry from supply, storage, filling plants, bulk storage at customers' premises and retail outlets," Hylton told Parliament yesterday.

The audit, Hylton said, is one of two investigations into the incident to be carried out by safety expert, George Hendricks, who is expected to make recommendations to prevent a repeat of any such accidents in the country.

"Mr Hendricks will conduct an impartial and independent investigation of the accident that occurred at the Juici Patties store," Hylton said. "The investigation will primarily determine the cause of the accident and make recommendations to prevent future recurrence of such accidents anywhere on the island."

Hylton also said that he expected Hendricks to "indicate all unsafe conditions, unsafe practices, shortcomings and how they are to be corrected".

The gas blast occurred at about 11:00 am when approximately 30 persons were inside the store in the busy Lane Plaza.

It apparently resulted, to a substantial degree, from a failure to closely follow safety procedures during the refilling of three cylinders with LPG.

The cylinders are ensconced between a three-foot concrete fence and the western side door, which also leads into the oven room.

Of the eight persons injured, five were hospitalised and yesterday, Hylton said the latest word he had from the hospital was that they were "stable and progressing".

He also said that checks done at the site had determined that "the integrity of the lines has not been breached".

Hylton also promised that the results of Hendricks' investigations will be publicised "as soon as the information is presented to the Ministry of Mining and Energy".