By Lamin Cham
Victims of Sunday’s devastating fire in the heart of the Kanifing Industrial Area are still counting their losses, which according to a local factory worker could run into hundreds of millions of dalasis.
While the cause and source of the fire have not been officially established, the raging flames engulfed the entire area burning a well-stocked furniture shop, a ware house selling general merchandise and a mechanic garage filled with motor vehicles.
According to eye witnesses, the actual source of the fire is not yet known but it only surged into higher heights when it reached Haddim Gas company, where loud explosions were heard as gas canisters caught fire feeding the flames that could be seen as far away as Abuko.
Fed by the exploding gas, the flames travelled to hit a furniture shop which was burnt to ashes.
A nearby mechanic garage with long line of cars waiting to be repaired was next in the path of marauding flames. at least 107 cars were burnt to ashes in the garage including a newly acquired SUV of Fatou Touray, CEO of Kerr Fatou Media Group.
’’I took the car to the garage to repair an electronic fault. I found only a skeleton shape of it which I am going to remove now,’’ she told The Standard yesterday.
The scene was one of complete devastation with charred bodies of plants and other industrial equipment spread all over. The explosions and sky rending flames triggered a major operation by the fire fighters who mobilised men and equipment from any available station to contain the blaze that was threatening residential areas.
President Adama Barrow could not hold his emotions after visiting the scenes yesterday. “This is a very sad accident which the government will investigate,’’ the president said.
He thanked the fire fighters for containing the flames thus preventing it from travelling afar to residential areas.
“We will also look at other institutions doing the same business to see whether they are following the safety standards. These are important things that we have been ignoring and have caused lot of damages,” he said.
The President said it is only after the enquiry that the total damage can be established.
He said government will as usual endeavor to ensure that adequate measures are put in place to ensure safety for people at all times all over the country.