One dead as major fuel tank fire in Apia is brought under control

At the height of the blaze mid afternoon today as workers were evacuated and traffic detoured from the area. PHOTO by Lan Polu

BY Staff Reporters

APIA, SAMOA: MONDAY 04 APRIL 2016: One person is confirmed dead from a major fire at one of three fuel storage tanks on the main wharf in Apia.

CEO of the Disaster Advisory Committee, Su’emalo Amataga Penaia confirmed the death but not the details as to where the man was leading to his death. He also confirmed that several fire fighters have been hospitalized suffering from the heat and from the fumes from the fire. Some of the workers on the wharf when the fire broke out are also being hospitalized.

2016 04 04 - Wharf Oil Tank burns 1

Fire fighters watering the adjacent tank to keep it from exploding as the heat builds up from the fire PHOTO: Lan Polu

The fire started burning after 10.00am and was finally brought under control by 4.00pm. The Disaster Committee immediately set up base at the Fire Brigade opposite the wharf led by the Chairman and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi.

Investigations into the cause of the fire continue, but workers reported to be using welding equipment nearby is suspected to be the cause.

The three tanks on the wharf are used for storing diesel by the fuel import contractor PPS and the supply lines to their main depot at Sogi were immediately cut off when the fire broke out.

Residents and workers in nearby offices were evacuated for fear of a potential explosion as well as the health effect of the black smoke from the fire.