Fuel pump explodes at Roraima hangar –quick action by firemen averts major disaster

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A fire truck which responded to the emergency at the Roraima hangar on Monday afternoon

QUICK action by Roraima Airways staffers at the Eugene F. Correia International Airport at Ogle on Monday afternoon averted a major disaster after a fuel pump exploded while an aircraft was being refuelled.The incident occurred shortly after 14:00 hrs and resulted in an engineer sustaining burns about his body. He was immediately rushed to a city hospital.

This Trislander aircraft (white) was being refuelled when the explosion occurred
This Trislander aircraft (white) was being refuelled when the explosion occurred

Roraima Airways, in a release, informed that its Britten Norman Trislander aircraft, 8R-GRD, was in the hangar undergoing a routine maintenance inspection at time of the incident, and suffered damage to its right wing. The engineer sustained burns to his hand and fractured his ankle. He is currently resting in hospital in a stable condition.

An investigation to determine the exact circumstances surrounding the incident is currently underway by both the company’s Maintenance Quality Department and the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

Roraima praised the efforts of its staff who responded to the incident.
According to persons at the airport, the engineer and other staff members were refuelling the aircraft at the company’s hangar when the fuel pump exploded. It is unclear what may have caused the explosion, which occurred near to other aircraft which were parked at the hangar at the time, but members of the Guyana Fire Service based at the airport immediately responded to the situation.

When this publication arrived at the airport, firemen and aviation officials were on scene, debris from the explosion lay on the floor of the hangar, and a fire truck was parked nearby.

Airport taxi operators have praised the actions of the firemen. Fire Chief Marlon Gentle told this newspaper late on Monday afternoon that all investigations relevant to the airport are being handled by the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA). Officials of the umbrella body and airport staff are investigating the incident.

On April 25 this year, Roraima Airways officially unveiled its Britten-Norman Trislander; and on that day, its maintenance department was also officially commissioned. The company had employed the services of the Caribbean Aviation Maintenance Services (CAMS) for some 20 years, but as it developed, its in-house services also expanded.