Liberian Government says factory explosion caused by negligence
09 April 2015
After months of investigation, the government of Liberia has revealed that the explosion which led to the death of six and the injury of eleven employees of the Liberia Agriculture Company was due to the company’s negligence. Labour Minister Neto Zarzar Lighe said a fine of US$ 100,000 has been imposed on LAC.
“Based upon the evidence complied during visual inspections of the site, assessment of various equipment and operating procedures, interviews with eyewitnesses accounts and LAC management representatives, it is concluded that the cause of the industrial accident on January 19, 2015 at the Liberia Agriculture Company, was due to negligence, leading to mechanical failure, which resulted in the explosion of the condensate tank,” the minister said.
The investigation revealed that there was no written safety and health program as required by the concession agreement and industrial best practices. The report also said that before the accident no one was assigned to monitor the electrical panel board which had the monitoring indicators to detect equipment malfunction.
The second shift supervisor who should have been in charge was standing elsewhere and had to coordinate and supervise work activities for 43 workers on the shift, which may have caused a situation of divided attention.
The minister said families of the dead and injured would receive ongoing government support.