President orders prompt action to help LPG blast victims

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said victims of LPG canister blasts should be given medical help immediately.

"Victims (of gas cylinder blasts) must be helped immediately. It would be a humanitarian act," he said when chairing a plenary cabinet meeting at the State Secretariat here Tuesday.

The head of state also ordered every three kilogram gas canister and its regulator to be checked to ensure its safe use.

"I want every gas canister and its regulator to be in safe and in good condition. Please check it one by one. Don`t just take a sample," he said.

To inspect and check every three-kilogram-gas cylinder in the country, a bigger number of field officers was needed, he said.

At a working cabinet meeting in Bogor, West Java, last week, President Yudhoyono had also instructed related authorities to take further measures to resolve the unpredictable LPG explosions.

"I have asked related ministries and parties, including the state oil company, Pertamina, to take additional steps soon," he said.

President Yudhoyono also touched on the illegal LPG injection by irresponsible people.

In dealing with this problem, the head of state proposed that the LPG aroma should be made more smelly to enable gas stove users to detect leaked LPG cylinders.

President Yudhoyono also underlined the importance of public awareness campaigns by using "secure gas use" posters.

Since the government began implementing its kerosene-LPG conversion plan in 2007, at least 45 million packages of gas stoves and three-kilogram gas cylinders had been distributed to the people.

Since then, LPG canister explosions had increased in various parts of Indonesia.
In West Jakarta, for instance, 13 LPG canister blasts had occurred over the past seven months of 2010.

The accidents had caused 14 people to sustain serious burns and nine others light ones, Head of the West Jakarta fire brigade`s operational unit, Endang Choiruddin, said.

"The gas canister blasts that happened in Tanjung Duren Selatan, Grogol, Petamburan neighborhood on July 25, 2010 had caused the biggest number of victims so far," he said.

The three-kilogram gas cylinder explosions wounded ten people and damaged a house rented by a chicken porridge seller in the West Jakarta slum area, he said.

As the result of the three-kilogram gas canister-related blasts in Indonesia, an NGO activist had urged the government to issue a moratorium on the use of canisters of this type.

Chairman of the Sabang-Merauke Circle (SMS) Syahganda Nainggolan said the moratorium would accelerate efforts to withdraw three-kilogram canisters from market.

The government had to realize that unpredictable Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) blasts mostly involved three-kilogram canisters, he said.

Therefore, the government could not ignore the high risks the people were exposed to at any time, he said.

In response to deadly gas canister blasts occurring in various parts of Indonesia over the past months, the government had promised to withdraw all damaged and poor quality gas canisters.

By July 2010, the government had reportedly taken a million LPG canisters from the market to be then replaced with the good ones.

Besides that, the government was also committed to conducting door-to-door and community-to-community socialization programs so that gas stove users could understand the safest way of using LPG.

Source : http://antaranews.com/en/news/1281434815/president-orders-prompt-action-to-help-lpg-blast-victims

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