Interior Minister suspects arson at Tema Central Medical Stores

??????????The Minister for the Interior, Mr. Mark Woyongo says the fire which gutted the premises of the Central Medical Stores of the Ghana Health Service on Tuesday could be the work of saboteurs and arsonists.

He said “this act is possible and, therefore, should not be ruled out” and tasked the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) and the police to investigate the matter and present an extensive and comprehensive report on Friday to inform the next line of action.

He described the destruction as a huge loss to the state and expressed shock that there were no personnel from the GNFS stationed at the premises, and no fire extinguishers at the premises which in his opinion could have reduced the impact of the damage.

Mr. Woyongo made these remarkswhen he visited the scene of the fire to assess the situation.

He said his ministry would ensure that such national assets have an intensified safety and security system in place to ward off the activities of persons who wish to be mischievous.

Meanwhile, the Acting Head of Public Relations, of the GNES, Divisional Officer III Ellis Robinson Oko, has cautioned the public to be circumspect in their comments emphasising that the GNFS will not depend on hearsay but authentic facts to determine the real cause of the fire.

He said the warehouse was holding a mixture of materials made up of both highly inflammable and less flammable, aside combustibles items which continued to react in their own way, hence the challenge in the fire.

He said the weather was also not being favourable to their course, adding that personnel of the GNFS were using all strategies available to deal with the situation, but was reluctant to give a timeline in which the fire would be completely put out.

Meanwhile the Tema Water Tankers Association has been called upon to provide water to the GNFS to help put off the fire.

The president of the association, Mr. Wilson Dzeve, said on Tuesday that 50 tankers of water were supplied to facilitate the fighting of the fire and by afternoon on Wednesday, about 20 more trips were made adding the supply of water was ongoing.

He said the assistance was in response to an appeal by the National Security and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) whom they had entered into an arrangement with to assist in such emergencies.

The Member of Parliament for the Tema East Constituency, Mr. Titus Glover, who also visited the scene on Wednesday, said much as the incident was painful, it should teach the nation a lesson and encourage the adherence to safety measures.

He said there was the need for a committee to be set up to investigate why the fire hydrants in the premises were not in good condition.

He commended the GNFS for what he described as a good job and called on the Ministry of Health to work swiftly at coming up with a back up plan to supply the various health facilities with drugs before the runs out.

Thick smoke continue to fill the atmosphere at the scene of the fire while curious onlookers still massing up to catch a glimpse of with the police still maintaining law and order.

From Dzifa Tetteh, Tema.

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