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Woman injured in CNG explosion still hospitalised

Published: 
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
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Indra Changar

Relatives of Indra Changar, 53, who was left in a critical condition after an explosion days after a CNG tank was installed in her official school bus transport vehicle, are worried over her condition as they are yet to be briefed by medical doctors at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mount Hope.

Another area of concern is that Changar is yet to be placed in the appropriate ward.

Speaking with the T&T Guardian yesterday, a close relative who wished not to be named, said the reason given was “no beds,” “they have her in an entirely different building because we were told that the ward that she is really supposed to be in does not have any available beds. Hopefully, we will meet with the doctor early in the morning (today) to get first-hand information on her condition.”

The relative said Changar is conscious but is very weak and in extreme pain, “she tries to speak but her voice is very faint. We are hoping for a full and speedy recovery.”

The relative said officials from the National Gas Company Limited (NGC) and Massy Automotive Components Limited (MACL) have visited the scene to inspect the vehicle.

The relative also stated that there was initially an issue where people came bearing no identification and projected disrespectful attitudes towards them. “The person who came presented no form of work ID or documents and they were a bit rude and disrespectful. So, then another technician came and presented ID so he was allowed in and he said he was not going to touch anything but he took lots of photos.”

“Another official from another company came and he decided to touch and move things in the vehicle. There was a caution tape and he decided to cross it,” the relative added.

The relative said officials were expected to return to the scene to carry out further investigations “on the mechanics etc to find out what caused the explosion. I was also told that a full report will be done and then decide on the next step.”

NGC CNG Company Ltd’s communications manager, Roger Sant, in a release issued yesterday, confirmed that “both MACL and NGC CNG are fully co-operating with the relevant authorities to expedite and conclude investigations into this matter.”

Massy ACL underwent a rigorous qualification and certification process by the relevant authorities. This process is consistent with local regulatory standards and international best practice.

NGC CNG will be meeting with all relevant stakeholders to facilitate a proper and thorough investigation and to ensure the ongoing safety and security of CNG systems and users in T&T.

Sant said the bus had earlier received an approved CNG conversion by MACL and added that MACL is an approved CNG converter by the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries (MEEI).

The incident occurred on Friday at about 5 am as Changar was getting ready to leave her home in Munroe Road, to go and pick up school children when the incident happened.

Changar sustained severe burns on her body and severe injuries to the eyes.

Exactly, one year ago, in September 2017, NGC CNG Company Limited began to distribute incentives to maxi taxi, taxi, and private school bus owners who have transitioned to CNG.

The company said then that it “is mandated by the government to accelerate the use of CNG as a vehicular fuel, as well as increase the number of CNG fuelling points across the country.”

Investigations are continuing.

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