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Ghislenghien residents unite to ask questions

Published on 10/08/2004

10 August 2004

BRUSSELS – About 100 residents from the area affected by the gas explosion in Ghislenghien on 30 July have united to form a civil party in the investigations into the disaster.

Eighteen people died and the industrial site at Ghislenghien was devastated after a gas pipe blew up on 30 July.

The residents’ spokesman Charles Ronlez said on Tuesday they had suffered moral and psychological damage from the accident which should be compensated. “But we aren’t claiming damages,” he added.

Their aim, he said, was to show a common front and to ask investigators questions now and in the future about Ghislenghien.

The gas pipe running parallel to the one that exploded was reopened on Tuesday.

The reopening had been postponed from Sunday for further security checks but gas is now being allowed to flow at a reduced level.

It was given the final all-clear on Monday by the independent control body AIB Vincotte after a visit to the disaster site by Economy and Energy Minister Marc Verwilghen.

The pipeline will be controlled by the operator Fluxys and the company has indicated that the gas pressure will be kept low until September.

Meanwhile, a gas leak was detected at 7.45am Monday on Rue Newton in Brussels, it has emerged.

A pipe was ruptured by workers at a building site.

Some local inhabitants were evacuated and the road was sealed off from
traffic as a security measure.

Another gas pipe was damaged in Antwerp on Monday, also during building works.

The police described the leak as ‘considerable’ and blocked traffic near the area while evacuating local premises, including a nearby supermarket.

The situation was under control by early afternoon.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news