Thursday 16 July, 2020

Energy Minister: Burnt gas station was compliant with safety measures

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Fayval Williams (standing), addresses staff members of Heaven's Fesco Gas Station in Mandeville on Sunday, February 23. Also pictured at right are owner of the station, Trevor Heaven, and Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Carol Palmer. (Photo: JIS)

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Fayval Williams (standing), addresses staff members of Heaven's Fesco Gas Station in Mandeville on Sunday, February 23. Also pictured at right are owner of the station, Trevor Heaven, and Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Carol Palmer. (Photo: JIS)

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Fayval Williams says a safety inspection conducted at Heaven’s Fesco Gas Station in Mandeville in September 2019 found that the facility “was perfect in its operations”.

Williams was addressing the management and staff of the gas station that was extensively damaged by fire on Friday, February 21, during her visit on Sunday, February 23.

“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.

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

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

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

The Minister commended the Jamaica Fire Service for the professional manner in which they handled the blaze, thereby preventing further damage to nearby buildings.

Meanwhile, owner of the gas station, Trevor Heaven, expressed sympathy to his team for the incident, which had left them feeling sad at this time.

“I want to express my sincere apology and sympathy for the trauma that you may have experienced being here at work. Many of our colleagues and friends have come to sympathise with us and we are gratified by the level of support and intervention,” Heaven said.

He said that having served the community for more than 35 years, he was gratified by the level of support coming from many persons across the length and breadth of Jamaica.

The station has been enclosed for construction work to begin, to ensure that business returns to normal in the shortest possible time.

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