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General News Fri, 29 May 2009

Kumasi Mayor orders closure of burnt market for a day

Kumasi, May 29, GNA - Mr Samuel Sarpong, Mayor for Kumasi has ordered the immediate closure of Kumasi Central Market which caught fire on Thursday evening to enable fire service personnel completely put out the fire.

Meanwhile, he has expressed his sympathies to affected traders and assured them of contingency measures by Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) and other stakeholders to enable them resume trading activities at the market.

Mr Sarpong appealed to Government to immediately rehabilitate the market for the traders.

When Ghana News Agency (GNA) visited the scene on Friday morning, fire service personnel were making frantic efforts to put out the fire which was still smouldering and sending columns of smoke into the atmosphere. The scene which had been cordoned by the police was one of charred wreckage of metal containers, roofing sheets and wooden structures serving as stalls as well as merchandise stocked in them had been reduced to rubble.

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Scores of distraught traders including those affected by the disaster were seen around the area ostensibly discussing how they were going to have their daily bread as they missed their daily sales. Nana Asiamah Poku, Chief of Toase in Atwima-Nwabiagya District and Council of State member for Ashanti visited the scene and expressed his sympathies to the traders saying "it is a national disaster". He called for a meeting of all stakeholders to brainstorm and come out with immediate workable solutions to rebuild the market and rehabilitate affected traders.

Meanwhile, when GNA contacted Mrs Patience Yeboah Ampong, Director of Nursing Services of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), she confirmed that two people who collapsed at the scene and rushed to the hospital were in stable conditions.

Fire service personnel GNA interviewed could not immediately ascertain the cause of the fire which had caused extensive damage to the market.

Source: GNA
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