Prince Muhammad Bin Saad Bin Abdul Aziz, Vice Governor of Riyadh region, announced that a pipeline will be constructed in the capital city soon to avoid the dangers resulting from inflammable gas transported in tankers.
Addressing a press conference here Saturday, he said that those killed in a gas tanker explosion in eastern Riyadh early Thursday will be buried after completing investigations. He described the blast as horrific and unusual.
He said that damages have not been estimated as yet. The
findings of the Investigations Committee will determine which parties have to
bear the losses resulting from the blast, the Acting Governor
Meanwhile, the Security and Safety Committee in the General Administration for Education in Riyadh region said that 11 schools have been damaged by the blast.
Sultan Al-Hamad, Chairman of the Security and Safety Committee, said repair work has started in line with the directives of Dr. Ibrahim Abdullah Al-Musnid, Director General of Education in Riyadh region.
A source at Riyadh police Criminal Evidence Department (CED) said that if the unidentified bodies were not claimed by families or relatives here, and a claim for them was made abroad, the CED may send experts to take samples from claiming families to conduct a DNA test.
Ministry of Health has allocated two lines (212-4123 and
212-4133) for inquiries on victims of the blast.
Meanwhile, the National Gas Company has expressed condolences to the families of those killed in the blast involving one of its tankers and has given its own account of the disaster.
It confirmed that on Thursday morning the company’s tanker overturned and rammed into one of the pillars holding the bridge at Khurais Road at the intersection with Sheikh Jaber Road.
The top part of the tank was seriously damaged when the 37-ton tanker hit the bridge’s pillar causing liquefied gas to leak from the tanker, which was on its way to a Riyadh gas station at Al-Kharj Road, coming from a gas station in Al-Qatif, a company statement added.
A huge cloud of leaked gas formed in the air and exploded in a matter of a few minutes when the gas and air mixed, destroying cars and businesses, it said.
The National Gas Company said it complies with the Saudi specifications for tankers and their loads and enforces regulations of the Ministry of Transportation.
Scrutiny is conducted by the Higher Commission for Industrial Safety and Security, the Civil Defense Directorate and Saudi Aramco, it added.
Aramco inspects the safety certificate of each tanker and ensures the tires and electrical system of trucks are in working order.
The company will issue another statement outlining the damage caused to properties once the authorities and insurance companies finish their work, it said, adding that the provision of its services will not be affected.
Muhammad Al-Shabnan, director of the National Gas
Company, said the tanker had a load of 15 to 17 tons of gas when the accident
“The driver is under investigation by the Civil Defense.”
Meanwhile, Saudi Aramco announced through its spokesman that all tankers transporting petroleum products will be replaced with new and safer ones by the end of 2013.
The spokesman said the new tankers will be rust-resistant and made of steel or aluminum to ensure their safety.
The process of replacing the current tankers, which have been in service for 25 years, will be gradual and smooth so that supply is not disrupted, added the spokesman.
In addition, trains will be used to transport fuel and gas around the Kingdom once the main railway network connecting the Kingdom’s regions with each other has been completed, informed sources said.
The trains will reduce the pressure on roads caused by these tankers, which were described as time bombs by member of the Council of Saudi Chambers Mahmoud Rashwan, who is also a major investor in gas stations.
The current fuel and gas tankers are made of light metal, he said, adding that these tankers are made specifically for transporting water and other liquids. To be in compliance with safety requirements, such tankers should be rust-resistant and shock-absorbent, he explained. “In fact, they should be consistent with international standards.”
The director of the Riyadh Civil Defense’s safety department, Col. Eid Al-Osaimi, said the National Gas Company’s safety requirements are supervised by the Higher Commission for Industrial Safety.
According to the director of the civil safety department at Riyadh Civil Defense Col. Bandar Al-Jibli, 30 properties including shops and vehicles sustained severe damage.
All owners of damaged properties should report to the headquarters of the Riyadh Civil Defense and fill out the necessary forms so that experts can assess the damage.