Negligence blamed for Bulawayo blaze

BULAWAYO - The Bulawayo fire services department has blamed gross negligence for the fire which razed a petrol station in the city centre on Independence Day.

No one was however, injured when the Redan Petroleum station, run by local businessman, Earnest Marima, exploded into a ball of fire destroying two fuel trankers.

Bulawayo council chief fire officer Richard Peterson said initial investigations had revealed that the mid-afternoon blaze was caused by gross negligence.

“Our investigations show that there was gross negligence in terms of fire safety management.

“The people at the filling station did not adhere to fire safety regulations as they allowed welding activities to take place while fuel was being unloaded,” said Peterson.

Marima said he was still trying to establish how much the blaze, which also destroyed part of the roof of the garage, had cost him.

ZRP Bulawayo province spokesperson Inspector Mandlenkosi Moyo said police investigations were on-going.
The fire was reportedly started by sparks from a welding machine a few metres away which ignited the two tankers which were unloading fuel at the time.

Workers at the garage said one of the tankers was carrying 18 000 litres of petrol valued at $27 000 while the second truck reportedly had 5 000 litres of diesel valued at $7 500. — New Zimbabwe

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