Fayval Williams: Gas station was ‘perfect in its operations’

Minister of Energy, Fayval Williams

A safety inspection conducted at Heaven’s Fesco Gas Station in Mandeville in September 2019 found that the facility “was perfect in its operations”, according to Minister of Energy, Fayval Williams.

The gas station went up in flames on Friday evening. Video footage circulating on social media showed a gas leak at the station minutes before the explosion.

Seven people were reportedly injured in the fire. One has since succumbed to his injuries, while three others persons remain hospitalised with third-degree burns and three others are still nursing minor injuries.

Twelve vehicles were destroyed in the explosion.

But while addressing staff of the gas station on Sunday, Minister Williams, pleaded with motorists to exercise caution when using a gas station.

“I am also calling on motorists who come to gas stations to obey the rules,” she said.

Minister of Energy, Fayval Williams addressing staff of the Heaven’s Fesco Gas Station in Mandeville

“Many times attendants tell someone on a cell phone or smoking a cigarette to desist, but they might not always obey the rules, so as the minister responsible, I am calling on Jamaicans who use service stations to obey the rules as they relate to cell-phone usage, naked light and parking,” she added.

The Minister empathized with the workers, who she says are now out a job.

“As I look in your faces I know that you are grieving. I know the sorrow you must be feeling right now, knowing that your place of employment is closed and there is a lot of uncertainty in your minds about the future. But I know this place will rise again,” she told staff members

She called on players in the service station business to ensure that their staff has the requisite training, so they can respond in similar situations.

Meanwhile, Minister Williams emphasised that there is need for additional safety regulations in the petroleum sector. She said last week the Ministry completed a public consultation and that the findings would be made public soon.

A release by FESCO on Saturday said that preliminary reports point to an incident with a motor vehicle at one of its pumps as the cause of the explosion. However, its stills investigating further.