The Kumasi Kejetia Market has been closed down to business for the next 72 hours, managers of the facility have confirmed.
The closure of West Africa’s biggest trading hub takes effect on Friday (March 17) after portions were ravaged in an inferno on Wednesday.
Shops have, however, been opened after 12 noon on Thursday for all traders within the facility to assess the condition of their shops.
From Friday to Sunday, however, persons who have been directly affected by the fire would be allowed to access their shops for only three hours, as those who deal in perishable goods would be given preferential treatment to check the state of their items.
There will be no trading activities within the period that the market would be closed down.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah earlier called for the Market to be shut for three days until a thorough assessment of Wednesday evening’s fire incident is done.
The Minister disclosed that so far, about 50 shops have been affected by Wednesday’s fire incident as almost all items in them were completely destroyed.
Mr Osei-Mensah also called for a committee to be set up to probe the circumstances that led to the escalation of the fire outbreak.
Among other things, Mr Osei-Mensah wants the committee to establish why the sprinkler did not switch on automatically when the fire started and why the smoke detectors did not work effectively.
The fire started from the third floor of the market around 4:30 pm on Wednesday, March 15 and spread to other parts.
The cause of the fire which left many people trapped and destroyed items worth thousands of Cedis has not been established yet.
Meanwhile, officers from the Ghana National Fire Service are blaming the managers of the New Kejetia Market for not putting proper fire safety measures in place to prevent an escalation.
Speaking to journalists at the fire scene Thursday morning, the Ashanti regional fire commander, ACFO1 Henry Giwah, said his outfit has on several occasions written to the managers to rectify some fire safety issues which have still not been done.
But the Managing Director of the facility, Kofi Duffour has vehemently opposed that, insisting that they put all necessary fire safety measures in place.
He added that they will, for now, allow the fire service to finish their investigation to determine the cause of the fire incident.
“Currently, we cannot speak to the cause of the fire, and it is only right to allow the fire service to finish their investigative work. They will give us a report that we would make available to you. ”
SOURCE: DAILY MAIL GH