Broadcast Journalist Kojo Yankson has unreservedly apologized for prematurely concluding that the gas explosion at Atomic Junction on Saturday night was sparked by a fire lit by a kebab seller.
In the aftermath of the explosion, the host of JoyFm’s super morning show, took to social media with what he believed to be a detailed chronological sequence of events leading to the explosion.
“The sequence of events is as follows” he began…”there was a leak during the offloading of gas…the gas rapidly went into the skies and everyone noticed it, to the extent people started filming the escaping gas, and members of staff evacuated immediately and called the authorities.”
He continued that “Within minutes our chichinga stand operator decided to start work, in spite of the fact that there was escaping gas, he lit a flame under the kebab, and the flame shot up into the air and connected with the gas that was gathering in the air above the heads of all the people standing around”
Mr Yankson added it was this flame that moved to the source of the gas leakage, leading to the huge explosion that killed seven people and injured hundreds.
The account was however questioned by many who wondered how the said kebab joint remained intact with no evidence it’s been gutted by fire if indeed it was the source of the flame that ignited the explosion.
Head of public relations at the Ghana National Fire Service Prince Anaglatey in an interview cautioned the media to be careful about drawing unsubstantiated conclusions. He demanded the public “leave the technical people” to handle the cause of the fire, saying it takes more than just speculation to establish that.
“I saw on social media they were saying that its even a kebab seller who caused it, as much as the fire from the kebab seller within the vicinity could cause it, there are other indicators that you need to look at, the distance of the kebab seller, the velocity of the wind, direction of the wind, concentration of the gas” he stressed.
Kojo Yankson since the narration of what supposedly caused the explosion has been subjected to public ridicule. Memes have sprung up, teasingly suggesting that he is an authority when it comes to investigations into gas explosions.
What began as ridicule turned into verbal abuse when an initial response from Kojo Yankson on social media was deemed arrogant.
Following the public criticism of his actions, Kojo Yankson has apologized for not living up to the standard expected of him and the Multimedia Group.
Speaking on his show Friday morning, he said “We’ve become the focus of conversations, of jokes, of insults, all of which we consider feedback, and we have heard you, we’ve heard everything you’ve said about how it should have been and we’ve understood you.
This morning, all we want to say is that for anyone who was disappointed by the standard of what we gave you that Sunday morning, we are sorry, we are eternally sorry for not meeting that standard”
Meanwhile, the Ghana National Service has said it will make public its preliminary findings on the cause of the fire by end of week.