The Liberia Agriculture Company or LAC in Grand Bassa County has provided US$45,000 for funeral arrangements of six of its employees killed as a result of the January 19 explosion at the company.
9 other victims are currently under critical conditions at the S.D. Cooper hospital in Monrovia.
Speaking Monday at the Ministry of Information’s daily press briefing, Labour Minister Neto Z. Lighe described the January 19 explosion in which six lives were lost at LAC as unfortunate.
According to Mr. Lighe, efforts by the management of the Liberia Agriculture Company to relocate some the victims in a foreign country for medication failed because the Ivorian and Ghanaian authorities rejected them due to the deadly Ebola virus confronting the country.
He said ministry remains engaged with the company to utilize the best option necessary to ensure that no further losses are experienced.
He indicated that currently, medical briefings suggest that the rest of the victims are stable and responding to treatments in the country, noting that the ministry has ordered a preliminary investigation into the recent explosion initially considered as an “industrial accident”.
He said the ministry was saddened by the troubling development and will do all it can to establish the facts, disclosing that a three-man team from the manufacturer will arrived in the country to carry out a comprehensive investigation into the cause of the explosion. He said they will work alongside government institutions, including the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Liberia National Police and the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA.
He said the LAC management informed the ministry that the machine, which exploded, was manufactured and installed by a company called Sphere from Indonesia.
He added that the US$45,000 is not part of whatever benefits each family is expected to be received as insurance coverage from the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation or NASSCORP, emphasizing that the policy of the management of LAC and Liberian Labor Law will ensure that the families of the victims receive the required benefits based on the Law.
By Lewis S. Teh