San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Shell, Firefighters Launch Safety Campaign

Months after an explosion at a Shell service station in the Central Valley killed two children, Shell Costa Rica and the Firefighters’ Corps have launched an educational campaign targeting gas station clients and employees.

As part of the campaign, launched last month at the Rohrmoser Gas Station in western San José, station clients will receive small plastic garbage bags printed with fireprevention tips. The bags remind clients to turn off their motors and cell phones and not smoke at gas stations.

The campaign also includes training for service station employees by the Firefighters’ Corps, and the construction of a service station simulator at the National Firefighters’ Academy, according to a statement from Shell. Campaign organizers will also design a training manual for employees, and onsite simulations to help prepare workers for emergencies.

The campaign, which will last several months and is now being implemented at all Shell stations nationwide, has already been completed in Panama and will soon begin in Honduras and Nicaragua, the statement said.

Two children died late last year inside their mother’s car when the pump they were parked next to at a Shell station in the southwestern San José suburb of Escazú exploded (TT, Nov. 3, 2006). Subsequent investigations revealed employee error and the lack of an emergency shutoff switch contributed to the incident (TT, Nov. 10, 2006).

The Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE), which is responsible for gas-station inspections, launched a massive nationwide inspection earlier this year and ordered 20 stations to close because of poor safety conditions and other problems (TT, March 9).


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