Three Killed, 25 Injured In Fire Disaster…As Ellen Visits Site

The Government of Liberia (GOL) through the National Disaster Relief Commission has confirmed that three Person were killed and twenty-five others injured as a result of the fire disaster and the collapsed of a storey building in Monrovia that occurred Last week.

According to the GOL, the number of injuries are 25, which include eight foreign nationals and 17 Liberians while two fire fighters from the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company(LPRC) who were rescued.

The Government said of the Liberian injuries, 15 were taken to John F. Kennedy Medical Center and 2 fire fighters from the LPRC were taken to Redemption Hospital.

According to a government statement issued yesterday under the Signature of Internal Affairs Minister Blamo Nelson who is Chairman of the National Disaster Relief Commission, the numbers of deaths reported are 3 Liberian nationals. The statement named those who died as Col. Nathaniel Wesseh and Sergeant Francis Sewon, two fire fighters from the National Fire Service(NFS) and Mr. Momoh Fahnbulleh, generator operator of the Fouani Brothers Corporation.

The government said all Liberia national injured sent to the hospitals were treated and discharged. However, there s still one foreign national admitted at St. Joseph Catholic Hospital.

Currently the government noted that there is still heavy smoke in the affected area and the Liberian National Fire Service is on the scene to control the entire situation. The Ministry of Public Works is also providing necessary support in clearing the debris of the damaged structure and rescue operation is still continuing as no additional persons have been found or recovered, the statement said.

Accordingly the Ministry of internal Affairs and Chairman of the National Disaster Relief Commission is coordinating humanitarian efforts for the affected victim of the incidence.

President Ellen Johnson who was on a visit to Sinoe County return to Monrovia on Friday and visited the scene of the fire disaster at which time she expressed regret for the incidence and promised government fullest support in bring relief to the victims of the disaster.

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Relief Commission at the Ministry of Internal Affairs is thanking the President, Vice President, Ministries and Agencies (Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Health & Social Welfare, Liberia National Fire Service, Liberia Refugee Repatriation Resettlement Commission, National Port Authority/APM Terminal, Liberia Petroleum Refining Company, Liberia National Police,  Liberia National Red Cross Society the United Nations Mission in Liberia(UNMIL) and all other actors for the effort and level of support giving during the incidence.

In a related development the National Disaster Relief Commission of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is advising the general public to stay away from the affected area for their own safety until the rescue operation is complete.

The statement concluded that the Liberia National Police will continue to provide security of the properties and regulate movements.

The fire incidence was reported on Wednesday, 24th of April 2013. The incidence took place at UN Drive, Water Side, Happy Home compound that was operated by the Fouani Brothers Corporation.

According to community members, the fire started at 5:30 pm. The occupants of the affected building and community members tried to put out the fire but could not succeed in controlling it.

Following this, the community contacted the Liberian National Fire Service at 6:37pm for immediate intervention to avoid the fire from affecting larger areas and communities.

The Liberia National Fire Service arrived on the same day at 6:39 pm and started putting out the fire. Other institutions that help put out the fire Included UNMIL contingent with five water tankers, National Port Authority/APM Terminal and the Liberian Petroleum Refining Company.

However the building collapsed at 7:45 pm following an explosion from within, trapping several persons under the rubble including four fire fighters including 2 from LPRC and 2 from LNFS. The collapsed building was used for multi-purposes which include residential, commercial and industrial factory.