Fuel Leakage Disrupting Flights At Douala Airport

Douala international Airport

 “This is just mayhem.  I wonder how a country can allow its image to be so ruined for so long,” Franck Walters, a Brit employee for an airlines company grounded in Douala since Friday June 29 observed Monday.

 

His company is among several others feeling the pinch of frozen airport fuel supplies since last week when a leak was inadvertently pinpointed at an underground kerosene depot.  Walters says ever since, the airport officials have been concentrating on trading blame rather than fixing the problem.  

 

“We have been digging around here since several days to implant optic fiber cables to connect the airport to the loop in Douala.  Last Thursday, upon digging we stumbled on a pit below the ground.  It is not like we burst a pipe to cause a leakage.  We just happened on a big well full of fuel and that’s how we informed the airport authorities.  They were not aware,” Fabien T. told CameroonPostLine.com.

 

Shortly following the discovery, panic-stricken airport officials accompanied by local administrative authorities and security forces thronged the potential trouble-spot on the fringes of the cargo section of the airdrome.  They immediately cordoned off the area and within minutes, bulldozers came knocking down nearby homes.

 

“Officials of the company that runs the depot called RHS say they were not aware of any leakage here.  It is a potential source of calamity and it is for security reasons that we are demolishing these houses.  We can have an inferno here at short notice and it is for the security of the people living here that we decided to demolish the houses,” Essono Bodo, deputy prefect for the Wouri explained.

Close to a week after the incident, the airports management agency Aéroports du Cameroun, ADC issued a release Monday informing airlines companies using the Douala airport that “for technical reasons, kerosene is not available at the Douala International Airport until further notice.”  Currently, it is commonplace to spot fuel-carrying tankers crisscrossing the tarmacs to top-up planes, while others are flying to neighboring countries for refills

 

By Divine Ntaryike Jr

 

source Cameroon Post

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