Baba Yara Stadium is now ready for CAN 2008.

Monday, June 01, 2009

9 looters arrested in K'si Central Market

NINE persons who attempted to take advantage of Thursday’s fire outbreak at the Kumasi Central Market to loot from the blazing fire have been arrested by the police.
According to the police, the nine were part of dozens of looters who had a field day as the fire raged.
Chief Inspector Yusif Mohammed Tanko, the Police Public Affairs Officer in charge of the region, said the suspects had since been arraigned for stealing.
He said three members of the Community Protection Unit under the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) were also arrested by the police and placed in custody for stealing.
They were said to have taken monies from one of the suspects the police arrested for attempting to loot.
The police said they removed GH¢92 and an unspecified amount of CFA from the pockets of the suspects, whilst escorting them to the Central Police Station.
The names of the three were given as Richard Ofori, Kennedy Tweneboah, both attached to the Central MTTU, and Kofi Asare, who is attached to the Ridge Police Station.
The market has also been closed to the public following the disaster. And to effect the closure, armed security personnel, comprising the military and police, have been detailed to provide a 24-hour guard.
The main road in front of the market has also been closed to traffic.
The closure is to enable city officials to take stock of the cost of damage caused by the fire and plan the way forward.
Additionally, the Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) has begun investigations into the incident.
The Ashanti Regional Minister and Chairman of the REGSEC, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, confirmed that the REGSEC took a serious view of the fire outbreak and would move to prevent a future recurrence.
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who visited the scene yesterday, asked the KMA to find a lasting solution to the perennial fire outbreaks at the market.
Although the Fire Service is yet to confirm the cause of the inferno, some traders blamed it on an electric fault while others accused a trader who was said to be using a candle in her shop.
Firefighters responded promptly to the call when it started but they were unable to battle the fire effectively as a result of the congestion, causing the fire to spread to several stalls. They, therefore, blamed the massive destruction on the lack of access to the market.
It took them the whole afternoon and night to bring the fire under control. Some of the stalls have been constructed on fire hydrants and on access lanes in the market.
The area, popularly referred to as “Eighteen Mu” in the market was badly affected.
The firefighters had a difficult time gaining access to the scene and tracing water hydrants, which had been covered with concrete for stalls to be constructed on them.
This is not the first time fire has gutted Kumasi’s busiest market and city authorities faulted for failing to take measures to prevent the outbreak and ensuring that access roads were created in the market.
On all the occasions that fire had gutted the market, the fire service personnel were unable to battle the blaze effectively as a result of lack of access, normally resulting in massive destruction.
That notwithstanding, the extent of destruction in Thursday’s blaze was generally considered as unprecedented in the history of fire outbreaks associated with the central market.
It is not clear why the KMA has been unable to enforce its bye-laws and to ensure that sanity prevails in the market in spite of the numerous outbreaks of fire.