BY KWADWO ANIM
A VICTIM of the June 3 fire and flood disaster, Alex Mensah, has revealed that his new look as a result of the unfortunate incident has rendered him jobless for the past two years, making life very difficult for him.
According to Mr Mensah, who used to be a commercial vehicle driver by profession, his physical appearance scares car owners who decline to employ him anytime he approaches them.
The entire nation was thrown into a state of shock and mourning on June 3, 2015, when a rainy night accompanied by flooding, was worsened by an explosion at the Goil Filling Station at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra where hundreds of people were seeking refuge from the rains in their vehicles and under the shed at the station.
The accident left the charred remains of over 150 persons who had sought refuge from the floods in the area.
Many of the survivors were left with psychological trauma by way of unpleasant memories, while physically some have had to live with very grave scars all over their bodies.
Speaking to Akwasi Nsiah, host of ‘Simiso’show on Kasapa FM in Accra, Mensah, who was recounting his experience while commenting on last week’s massive gas explosion at Atomic Junction in Accra, said after spending seven months and two weeks in hospital, he has been struggling to make ends meet.
“Today I’m not even able to pay my rent as I’m unemployed because of someone’s negligence. I’m not even able to take care of my family. Even if I’m not able to take care of my mother who brought me into this earth, I must be able to cater for my wife and kids. Life has been very difficult since the accident.
“Two of my children are still at home since school reopened in September. Due to the severe burns on my body, especially my face, it has become difficult for me to get a job as a driver. Sometimes a friend would inform me that a vehicle owner needs a driver to use his vehicle for commercial purposes. The moment I’m led to see the vehicle owner and the person sees my scarred face, out of fear the person declines to give his vehicle to me. Painfully, I’d later see the same vehicle being driven by another person.
“This has been the trend all this while since I was discharged from the hospital after the incident. Why should I go through such hardship because of someone’s carelessness?” he asked sobbing.
He noted that the carelessness on the part of authorities which has caused some of them these problems are still pervasive.
“Are we going to look on unconcerned as a country for others to suffer such tragedies and leave them maimed for life?” he asked.
He empathised with victims of the Atomic Junction gas explosion and prayed for their speedy recovery.
“Knowing the painful experience I went through, I pray fervently for the victims who sustained bodily burns for God to heal their wounds quickly. They should thank God they’re still alive and have hope in life; once my wounds are healed they’ll also have their healing. God has a purpose for them,” Mensah said.