Shell held responsible for oil tanker incident at Bahawalpur

ISLAMABAD: The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) on Friday a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell to pay about 257 million rupees ($2.4 million) in damages and compensation for a tanker explosion that killed more than 200 people last month. A copy of the report on the June 25 explosion held Shell Pakistan Ltd responsible for the massive blast in southern Punjab province after a tanker carrying gasoline for company rolled over. At least 209 people were killed and many injured after local villagers had gathered to collect the fuel spilling from the tanker. The oil tanker overturned on a main highway while travelling from Karachi to Lahore, near the town of Ahmadpur East in Punjab province. The massive fire injured scores of people who were shifted to Victoria Hospital for medical assistance. However; the death toll soared due to non-availability of burn unit and lack of facilities in emergency ward as it hindered the treatment of the patients. In its report today, The energy regulator ordered Shell Pakistan to pay a penalty of 10 million rupees ($95,000). In addition, the regulator ordered the company to pay one million rupees ($9,478) in compensation to the families of each of those killed and half a million ($52,750) for each person injured. OGRA findings revealed that the oil tankers carrying the product was not matching the standards specified by the rules of the land. Moreover, the company did not meet the requirements of the explosive department and fitness certificate provided by the transporter was fake. Besides this, the vehicle failed to fulfill the standard of the rules specified by the OGRA as the tanker carrying 50,000 liters of petrol had four axels instead of five. After the tanker spill-over, there was no local administration and following the incident even the police failed to reach on time. Even the National Highway Authority police had not cordoned off the area. If Shell company failed to pay the fine, it would dealt with the procedure defined by the regulatory authority.