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WHO BURNT MINES MINISTER’S OFFICE ….some items burnt down (pix Minister Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray)

 

By UNISSA BANGURA

Mysterious burning of Government offices is becoming a common place in Freetown. If it is not the National Power Authority (NPA) now EDSA, it would be the Youyi building that houses a number of Government Ministries. Two years back, it was reported that the Ministry of Lands Country Planning and Environment was in flames, and that fire had engulfed the entire office, consuming important documents and even the carpet on the floor was chopped by fire. The cause of the fire was unknown, but later attributed to malfunctioning of electrical cable.

Electrical cables have been the source of most of the fire incidents on Government buildings in the Country. What is evidently lacking in almost all of Government buildings in the country is the blatant disregard for fire extinguishers as the first point of tackling the fire when it occurs. The Government unfortunately has put no premium on fire prevention, instead any time a fire incident occurs there are lots of rumours doing the rounds in town as to the cause of the fire.

The rumours are being submitted and accepted at the end of the day as the cause of the fire. Few days back, the internal office of the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Resources was caught up by fire.

It was at the heart of the Minister’s office, where the inferno took place and no member of staff; even night security guards have not been able to tell the source of the fire. Some members of staff have described the situation as unusual .It would appear that the devil incarnate was at work, if nobody is able to tell the origin or source of the fire. Valuable documents including chairs, air conditioners and some parts of the overhead ceiling suffered destruction when the fire went ablaze.

Up to press time there is no sufficient explanation giving nor is there any professional advice relating to prevention and management of fire incidents either within the building or out of the building. The general assumption that has been downloaded as the source of the fire has been the usual finger pointing of electrical malfunctioning.

This reporter was among those that visited the scene and had the opportunity of interacting with officers from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) who had earlier visited the site in the absence of the Minister and they had to barricade the office.

In his explanation, Minister Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray said that he was baffled and shocked when he learnt about the fire incident in his office, noting that he was also pleased to hear that the fire brigade had taken control of the fire with Allah being their guide.

The Minister of Mineral Resources said he was briefed that the police from CID had visited the scene and in the circumstances have ordered that nobody including himself should enter the office until after seventy two hours. “I am waiting for the time to expire” He said cautiously.

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