Concern is mounting over the growing danger posed by fuel tankers parked along the roadside in Lusaka’s industrial area.
Life and property are at risk should one of the vehicles overheat, warned nearby businesses appealing to the authorities to take action before a major disaster happens.
The hazard of fuel tankers parked on the side of roads – in many cases overnight – was highlighted recently when a truck loaded with petrol caught fire outside the Zambian Breweries premises on Mungwi Road.
“The possible consequences of allowing fuel tankers to park in the industrial areas are unfathomable. This is why we are appealing to the relevant authorities to take concerted action and put an end to the practice. We will avail ourselves to work with the authorities in whatever capacity,” said Ezekiel Sekele, Corporate Affairs Director at Zambian Breweries Plc.
Quick action by a combined team of Zambian Breweries safety personnel and the Lusaka Fire Brigade averted what could have been a national catastrophe and a high-profile accident that would have tarnished Zambia’s reputation on industrial safety standards.
The rescue teams followed emergency procedures and responded in a timely and professional manner to the incident, and in so doing they averted what could have been a tragedy, said Mr Sekele.
He praised the teams who put out the fire and thanked the Lusaka Fire Brigade and other organisations for their prompt action.
Zambian Breweries management along with other businesses are 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.
There is 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, said Mr Sekele.