Thursday, June 26, 2014

Villagers fear for their safety after pipeline explosion

Posted on June 26, 2014, Thursday

Villagers escort Baru (third left) to the site of the explosion.
KUCHING: Villagers near the site of the Sabah-Sarawak Gas Pipeline (SSGP) explosion have expressed concern over their safety in light of the incident earlier this month.

According to Ba Kelalan assemblyman, Baru Bian, the villagers were extremely anxious about their safety and also expressed their concerns even before the explosion occurred.

“I had the opportunity to meet with officers from Petronas and villages near the site of the pipeline explosion on Monday. I was briefed by the Petronas officers that the pipeline was being repaired and that the investigations into the cause of the explosion was being carried out by Petronas as well as an independent body.

“The officers informed me that their team is checking the whole length of the pipeline on the ground and are also doing aerial checks by helicopter,” he said in a press statement.

After the meeting, Baru Bian said the villagers also expressed fears that certain sections of the subterranean pipeline were exposed, instead of being fully buried under the ground.

“Petronas has been told to look out for the exposed sections when doing their investigations and to ensure that exposed pipes are properly buried beneath the surface of the ground,” he said, adding that Petronas had undertaken to make public the report of the investigations when it was ready.

He also noted that the villagers had requested a meeting and dialogue session with Petronas for the report to be presented and explained to them in his presence.

“Until this is done, the pipeline must remain closed and under no circumstances is any gas to be released into it at any time, even if repairs have been done.

“The safety of the villagers in the vicinity of the pipeline is paramount, and no chances should be taken.

“The people must be absolutely convinced that the pipeline is safe before it can be reopened for use,” Baru said.

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