Part of $259m Kejetia market gutted by fire
Parts of the Kejetia Market, one of the monumental projects in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi, was yesterday engulfed in fire which burnt wares estimated at millions of Ghana cedis.
There were no casualties as of press time yesterday, but a few people collapsed due to suffocation and were rushed to hospital.
The fire is said to have started from a store on the second floor of the market around 4 p.m. and extended to the third floor.
Many traders wailed uncontrollably as thick black smoke from the burning stores in the magnificent market drifted into the afternoon sky.
Cause not known
As of press time, there was no official communication on the cause of the fire, but eyewitnesses said they suspected an electrical fault.
They said the fire spread in no time due to the combustible materials on the floor where it had started.
Items such as carbide, plastics, sewing materials, body sprays and perfumes are sold at that section of the market.
It took firefighters from the Ghana National Fire Service a hectic time to put out the fire.
Some of the traders who were trapped in the market had to rely on ropes deployed by the firefighters to descend and escape from the fire.
More than five fire engines were deployed to the scene to battle the blaze.
The Kejetia Market was constructed at a cost of $259 million. It is the first phase of the larger Kumasi Central Market Redevelopment Project, which is now in the second phase.
Construction work on the Kejetia Market, which began in July 2015, comprised the redevelopment of the Old Kejetia Transport Terminal into a market complex.
It was handed over to the KMA in December 2018.
The redevelopment of the Old Kejetia Transport Terminal and the Central Market into a modern market complex and transport terminal, with other ancillary facilities, has been widely recognised as one of the biggest projects to be put up in Kumasi.
The project is designed to minimise the impact of the construction on trading activities in the central business district (CBD) of the Kumasi metropolis.