Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan on Friday announced a comprehensive inquiry into the gas tanker accident occurred at Karunagapply on Thursday. He also announced compensation to the victims and their families.
The Chief Minister told the media that Rs. 5 lakhs would be given as immediate relief to the next of kin of the five persons killed in the accident. A member each of their families would also be given a decent job. The Government would meet the full expenses of treatment of the injured. They would also be paid Rs. 25000 to meet incidental expenses.
Compensation would also be paid for damage to shops, other institutions and vehicles on the basis of the report of the Collector. Besides, the oil company would be asked to take primary responsibility
and pay compensation. They would also be required to take measures to ensure safety in the transport of petroleum products including setting up of rescue units equipped with chemical spray.
Mr. Achuthanandan said that he had written to the Union Minister for Petroleum Murli Deora seeking action to prevent such accidents and ensure safety. The State Government would examine the delay in
implementing proposals for modernisation of the State fire force and take remedial action. The details of enquiry would be decided later.
Food and Civil Supplies Minister C. Divakaran said that petroleum companies were responsible to ensure the safety of petroleum products up to the point of delivery. Thursday’s accident was the fifth in the area. The licensing authority under the Central government was based in Chennai. The State government had little authority to check on the operation of the tankers or the qualification of their drivers. The driver of the vehicle that met with the accident at Karunagappally was only 20 years old.