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General News of Sunday, 5 May 2013

Source: XYZ

Veep instructs finance ministry to assist Kantamanto fire victims

Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has instructed the Interior Minister Kwesi Ahwoi to constitute a committee of inquiry to probe Sunday’s fire disaster at the Kantamanto market in Accra.

The vice president gave the directive when he visited the Kantamanto market in the busy national capital to assess the extent of damage caused to the square by the ferocious blaze.

He has also instructed the ministry of finance and other financial institutions of the state to assist the thousands of market women and men whose items were destroyed in the blaze, with soft loans.

Additionally, Mr. Amissah-Arthur said the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly are making frantic efforts to assist the fire victims.

The Vice President was in the company of the Greater Accra regional Minister Mr. Julius Debrah, Accra Mayor Alfred Vanderpuiye, Odododiodoo MP Nii Lantey Vanderpuiye as well as Police and Fire Officials.

Goods and structures gutted by the fire were still smothering at the market square as of midday when the Vice President went to the area.

Hundreds of stores and offices were consumed in the blaze which started around 0430 GMT on Sunday.

Thick dark smoke was seen billowing into the sky from the market square where thousands of traders, hawkers and many business offices do their trading.

Traders and shop owners were seen making frantic efforts to salvage their goods and merchandise from the inferno.

Others were also desperately helping to fight the fire with any water they could lay hands on, including sachet water packs.

The cause of the blaze is unknown.

This is the third time in two years that the same market has been gutted by fire.

Fire officers have been battling the fire for hours.

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