On the eve of the huge inauguration of the new President , Retired Brig. Maada Bio, when over seven heads of state and a U.S delegation are expected in the country, the presidential lounge of Lungi International Airport was in flames yesterday, with thick smoke billowing out of the building.
As soon as the news spread, supporters of the Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP) took to the social media accusing the opposition of trying to sabotage the inauguration, but it has been learnt that the fire was caused by the explosion of a plasma TV that had just been installed.
The fire was extinguished by the Fire Force , but not until extensive damage had been done to the lounge where the foreign heads of state were to have been received.
*Government of Sierra Leone*
*For Immediate Release*
(Freetown, Friday, May 11, 2018)
About 1400hrs today 11 May, 2018, Government received news of a fire incident at the Presidential Lounge of the Freetown Intentional Airport. We immediately dispatched a high powered delegation led by the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Mr. Kabineh Kallon and the Minister of Information and Communications, Mr. Mohamed R. Swaray to ascertain the cause of the incident and undertake an initial assessment of the damage .
The Ministers and their delegation interviewed the General Manager of the Sierra Leone Airport Authority, the Local Unit Commander (LUC) of Lungi Police Station and other security personnel deployed around the Presidential Lounge about the incident. Police are currently investigating the cause of the fire.
This incident could not have come at a more unfortunate time, coming on the eve of the presidential inauguration.
The public is however assured that immediate steps have been taken, including the designation of an alternative VIP lounge to ensure the safety and comfort of our dignitaries arriving for the inauguration ceremony.
We wish to assure all Sierra Leoneans and our invited guests that everything is under control and that the airport is safe and secure to accommodate flights and our guests from far and wide. We also wish to assure our guests of the usual Sierra Leonean hospitality.
Report on fire incident that occurred at the Presidential Lounge, Freetown Int’l Airport. –
On Friday 11th May 2018 ,fire was noticed at 14:30 hours.
Smoke was detected at the Presidential Lounge by Mr. Santigie Kamara,one of the caretakers. Alarm was raised alarm and the Rescue and Fire Fighting Service (RFFS) was notified and they responded swiftly. The fire was put out around 1500 hours.
One arm chair,the t.v decoder and the plasma t.v in the Presidential room/office was completed burnt.
Preliminary investigation suggests that the fire emerged from the plasma t.v set that was at the Presidential office, at the lounge.
Upon preliminary investigation, in the morning hours some anormally was detected with regards the same presidential room in question,where the fire broke out. A switch and the t.v’s decoder was presumed to be faulty. This was reported to the electrical department of the SLAA by Mr. Unisa Kargbo ,head supervisor of the Presidential Lounge. Technicians immediately responded and a new decoder was brought in.
Subsequently, the VIP ARRIVAL LOUNGE is used currently to receive delegates.
However, work is ongoing at the Presidential Lounge to do some rehabilitation towards the early hours of tomorrow. If it continues through the night, the Lounge would be ready to receive guests in the morning.
Aba Suma It is a deliberate act not an accident!
Zainab Sheriff Bangura Until we get a full report as to what really transpired we should cease fire.
Guys remember we only have one Mama Salone. Let us desist from this blame game, the time for politicking is over, we should not let a scenario of ‘them’ and ‘us’ divide us.
It could be an accident and nothing else.
Kadijatu S. Margao It’s a deliberate act by APC . Let not even try to make it nicer or called it something else. It didn’t just burst into flames.
Moses Ben Kanu Too early to point fingers , evaluate from the preliminary report
Foday Bundu Pls let pause and wait for the reports of the investigation, it is too early to make judgment with out investigation. It could be an accident of poor work done by electricians
Boye Jallo Jamboria Most commentators here live in the diaspora and may ,repeat may ,know how flat screenTV produces heat. Think of the heat in colder climates and connect with the same heat in a hot climate. Then you have your answer, we have to stop making unscientific claims and accusations.
Delwyn Thomas I find your post shocking Albert. What exactly do you mean by APC gurus. They might be APC members or supporters but like you discharge their duties impartiality. You seem to suggest and I hope I am wrong that all APC members and supporters should be removed from their positions and it should be filled exclusively by SLPP members and supporters