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ISLAMABAD: The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) has shared the details of the LPG cylinder blast at Jhelum, wherein, the complete building structure collapsed resulting in the death of seven innocent lives as well as many got injured.

The information revealed that the catastrophic incident occurred due to a lack of awareness and negligence on the part of the illegal LPG decanting shop being operated within the building.

The LPG cylinders were installed inside the basement/confined space without having proper ventilation and oversight of gas leakage become the main cause of this fatal incident.

Moreover, an LPG fire incident in the van at Bhalwal, District Sargodha has occurred causing the loss of seven precious lives as well as many got injured. The preliminary information revealed that the van was being operated on LPG gas with alteration on CNG cylinders/kits. Despite the fact that the LPG in PSVs is completely banned as per the LPG Rules, 2001.

Therefore, the Ogra has issued advisory notes to all chief secretaries and commissioner Islamabad to join hands with the Ogra to initiate action/awareness campaigns with regard to the safe use of LPG cylinders in homes and restaurants and to avoid usage of LPG in PSVs to implement following minimum safety criteria at local levels for the reason that LPG is highly inflammable and handling it without precautionary measures can cause fatal incidents.

The minimum safety criteria as under for implementation at district levels:

i. LPG cylinders connected in batteries in restaurants/hotels/food chains/malls/commercial buildings to be installed only in proper ventilated spaces i.e. away from confined spaces/basements.

ii. Installation/availability of special fire extinguisher (DCP) at restaurants may be made compulsory.

iii. Decanting of LPG (Cylinder to cylinder transfer) is illegal and is a potential safety threat to lives of masses therefore, immediate action may be initiated against all involved in this practice.

iv. And LPG installations/fittings/changing of valves should be performed by trained staff only

v. Also, removal of LPG Kits and cylinders from PSVs may be ensured.

vi.Local administration may initiate a proper crackdown against illegal decanters who supply LPG to public.

vii. Crackdown against illegal roadside workshops involved in conversion of CNG to LPG kits may be initiated.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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