Death Toll Unknown In Fire Tragedy…As Rescue Works Continue
Authorities at the fire outbreak on the Fouani Brothers building in the Jos Hansen area have not yet established the cause of the fire that gutted the building but report says the total number of death toll is unknown. Up to press time, firefighters from the National Port Authority (NPA), the Liberia Fire service, the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC) were seen helping to remove the debris and at the same time searching to rescue those trapped.
Besides the one person reportedly dead from the incident last night, unconfirmed report says two other dead persons were discovered yesterday morning with several persons still trapped under the 4-storey building which has been functioning as a warehouse.
Our reporter who visited the scene yesterday said as the fire blazed, 2-yellow machines were on the spot trying to remove the debris so as to aid the firefighters carry out their search.
It is believed that several persons including foreign nationals assumed to be mostly Lebanese are said to have also been trapped in the rubbles of the collapsed.
Meanwhile, the Vice President of Liberia, Ambassador Joseph N. Boakai, who visited the site of the disaster yesterday, has expressed regret over the fire outbreak which caused the collapse of the Jos Hanson Building located at waterside, Monrovia.
VP Boakai said the government’s concern now is to make sure that the blocks on the ground are removed to know as to whether something has happened. He said equipment and rescued workers are expected to work on the building day by day for a month.
VP Boakai disclosed that fire disaster is causing great embarrassment in Monrovia and its environs and there is a need that this issue be addressed timely.
Also speaking to journalists, Justice Minister Christiana Tah affirmed that government will put in place mechanism to help the fire fighters continue their work because the fire is not an ordinary fire but requires tankers to quench the fire.
She stated further that the government aim’s right now is to rescue people who are under the debris and the Ministry of Public Works will also help in the process.
Some eye witnesses who spoke to our reporter yesterday said two persons are hospitalized going under critical treatment while two persons died in the fire.