With reporting from Ankita Menon
A month after Qatar Fuel (Woqod) was ordered to stop carrying lightweight Shafaf liquid petroleum gas (LPG) canisters at its petrol stations, Civil Defense has given the company the green light to resume sales, a Woqod spokesman has told Doha News.
The ban was put into effect after a deadly gas blast in February at a restaurant inside of a petrol station complex in Duhail. That accident killed 11 people, and was apparently caused by a pizza oven that had been left on and leaked gas before igniting.
The lack of availability of Shafaf at more than two dozen petrol stations had caused frustration among many Qatar residents and businesses, who have complained of shortages.
Woqod previously said the problem wasn’t with the supply of the canisters, which are commonly used for cooking and barbecuing, but with the distribution chain.
Because gas was no longer being sold at petrol stations, more people were relying on the small shops that carried them. These shops sold out quickly, and had long lead times for getting new canisters.
Speaking to Doha News today, the Woqod spokesman said:
“Qatar Fuel Woqod has started to introduce Shafaf LPG cylinders to all of its service stations across Qatar. This decision has been made in consultation with Civil Defense, taking into account safety standards that conform to international standards. All service stations will receive adequate supply of LPG cylinders no later than early next week.”
Meanwhile, four men, including a Woqod employee, are on trial over the deaths of the 11 people killed in February’s blast.
The defendants, which also include two employees of the Turkish restaurant where the blast originated and an employee from local LPG supplier Qatar Gas, are being charged with negligence and are expected back in court next week.