Magwe residents fuming over petrol risks

Footage by ZAW PE

Local residents in Magwe division’s Taungdwingyi staged a protest on Monday to demand the removal of a petrol station in the town centre which they claim endangers public safety.

Kyaw Tun Oo, one of the protest leaders, said, “Almost the entire town of Taungdwingyi was destroyed by a fire in 1981 which was sparked by the explosion of two barrels of diesel at that petrol station. Back then, the town didn’t have so many people but it was still devastating. Now we have a dense population. Some restaurants and the town market are located close by, and only 1,000 yards west is a public hospital, which is only protected by a wooden fence. There is also a high school standing next to the petrol station.

“This area has a rather dry climate,” he said. “We are calling for the gas station to be relocated outside the town simply due to our concerns that it is a fire hazard.”

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He said the New Day gas station has over 10,000 gallons of petrol in its stockpile, which are kept in brick tanks. He said he believed that no adequate safety measures have been taken and octane fumes have been leaking from the storage tanks.

More than 150 residents and 40 school representatives in Taungdwingyi have signed a petition calling to move the station out of the town.

In March, the station came under inspection by a district-level government inquiry team which pledged to release the findings afterwards, but this has yet to happen.

One resident in the town, Pyi Moe, was charged by local police for staging a solo demonstration on 7 November calling for the gas station to be moved.

No one at the New Day petrol station in Taungdwingyi was available for comment when contacted by DVB.

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