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Oct 23, 1998

Safer delivery for butane

The tragic accident, which killed three people and left four others burned when a butane tank exploded during a delivery in the Orange Walk District, has left everyone a little nervous about ordering gas for their stoves. To prevent such a disaster from ever happening again representatives from the Butane Storage and Distribution Industry met with government officials yesterday to make some improvements in the way gas is delivered. Their first decision: the end of home deliveries by bobtail butane trucks. As of December first the National Fire Service says the trucks will no longer bring gas to homes in the city and all towns, and such deliveries will also be phased out in the villages. The trucks currently making the rounds in urban areas would in the future be used only to fill tanks at hotels or restaurants during low traffic hours. All domestic cylinders will be collected from residences, taken to the depots, tested and filled only after they have been deemed safe. Vehicles used to transport the tanks will have to conform to certain standards set by the committee and pass inspection. To help regulate the industry, a committee has been formed with members from each of the major butane companies, the National Fire Service, Department of the Environment, Bureau of Standards, the Belize City Council and Transport Department. The committee will also consider relocating depots in residential areas and present the government with specific regulations for butane storage and distribution.

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