Police intensify search for Tema market arsonist

BY: Samuel K. Obour

The Police in Tema has intensified its  search for the suspected arsonist  who attempted to burn down  the Tema market last Tuesday night. It has also instituted day and night patrols in and around the market at Tema Community  One.

The  intensified search is as a  result of public concerns expressed over the  exhibits retrieved  from the fire scene which included  foam, suspected to have been soaked with a chemical to start the fire , candles and a bag which was partly melted by the fire .

The police had not arrested any culprit  at the time of writing this story.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic at Tema, the Tema Regional Police Commander, DCOP Maxwell Atingane,  appealed to the traders to be alert and report any new development to the security.

He gave the assurance of police support to ensure they operated in a  safe environment .

DCOP Atingane urged the public to discard the notion that the incident was possibly caused by a dranged or mentally ill person.

He said it was necessary to ensure safety at the market to prevent loss of property and human lives .

DCOP Atingane noted that such situations must be taken seriously because they could be  dangerous to society .

He described the fire incident as real because according to him , the tables were parked against the entrances of the various shops  for safety and the fire was started there.

He stated that it was fortunate that there were no lights in the vicinity  and therefore the  security personnel of the assembly spotted the first flame that shot up .

DCOP Atingane  said they would have been telling a different story if the fire  had not been  spotted .

He said the police , BNI  and any other security network in the metropolis had been mobilised to assist in day and night  patrol duties to track down the suspects.

DCOP Atingane said until  the police came out with the findings of their investigations, the public must not fabricate stories which would put fear  and panic in the traders .

The fire was spotted at about 11 p.m.  on Tuesday,  July  2, 2013, by security personnel of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly through whose efforts the fire was put off.

Narrating the incident, the Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Kempes Ofosuware,  said because of the load-shedding,  security personnel of the TMA had intensified their patrol duties in and around the market.

He said due to darkness around the area, it was easier to spot the fire at the Community One main station where vehicles loaded from Tema to Accra with  stalls lining up as boundaries for  the market.

Mr Ofosuware announced that the TMA had constituted a Task Force comprising the  personnel from the BNI , Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) , Ghana Police Service (GPS), TMA Security and other supporting agencies  to help track down the suspected arsonist.

He said the team would be expected to  patrol the vicinity of the market to protect it from the suspicious  moves of arsonists .

By Rose Hayford Darko