Gasco won’t pay damages



JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS

Published — Friday 7 December 2012

Last update 7 December 2012 12:00 am

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Muhammad Al-Shubnan, director general of the National Gas and Industrialization Company (Gasco), said yesterday that his company would not pay for the losses caused by the gas tanker blast that occurred in Riyadh a few weeks ago.
Twenty-two people died and 133 were injured in the accident on Nov. 1 when the driver of a gas tanker lost control and hit the side of an overpass at the inter-junction of Makkah Road with Sheikh Jaber Al-Sabah Road in the capital.
“Investigators have not yet announced their findings. Until then, the company will not bear the losses incurred from the accident,” Al-Shubnan was quoted as saying by Al-Madinah Arabic daily.
The Gasco chief said his company would appeal against the verdict if it were found guilty. “There are courts that protect the rights of all parties and ensure justice for everybody when they face any injustice. We are waiting for the investigation results and on the basis of those results, we will take the next steps.”
Al-Shubnan added: “We cannot take any steps before seeing the investigation report. Naturally, we’ll coordinate with our insurance company that takes up such accidents.”
Asked about the effect of the change of routes for Gasco tankers in Riyadh after the accident, he said it would not affect the company’s efficiency and operation. “We have been meeting the requirements of our clients in the city.
There is no shortage in services. The change in route was aimed at reducing the traffic bottlenecks in Riyadh,” he explained.
Referring to the company’s board meeting and discussions on paying compensations to victims, he said: “Yes, the meeting had discussed the accident among other topics on the agenda. It was not solely for discussing the accident as mentioned by some media organizations. On the contrary, it was a regular meeting of the board and was not aimed at a specific purpose.”
Insurance experts have estimated the total value of damages caused by the tanker blast at SR 300 million. There are seven insurance companies linked with parties affected by the accident. Insurance companies would not be responsible for the thefts that took place soon after the blast, experts warned.
The government set up an investigation soon after the incident that shocked the Kingdom. The panel is composed of senior officials from the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Finance and Civil Defense, along with other government agencies.
Prince Mohammed bin Saad, deputy governor of Riyadh, said the investigation would find the party responsible for the losses resulting from the blast.

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