THE Ndola City Council has ruled out any possibility of arson in the Kapapala market that was burnt in the early hours of yesterday.
Ndola mayor Amon Chisenga said the council has left everything in the hands of the police.
In an interview, Chisenga said there was a possibility of negligence from traders that could have caused the fire.
“For now, we rule out any possibility of arson. However, we leave it to the police for investigations. We want to establish if it was negligence from the traders because we hear some people sleep in the market. So we will wait for the investigations to be concluded. We are not going to speculate,”
He said property worth millions was destroyed in the fire affecting over 2,000 marketeers.
“Yet again, another market is gutted and it is unfortunate that we have this issue at hand. We do not want to speculate now that it could be an act of arson, especially that the state of threatened emergency is still in force. We pray that the fire was as a result of negligence of our marketeers,”
But a chief fire officer was heard telling council officials that the fire started from the section of the market where charcoal was being offloaded.
“The guys were offloading their charcoal and you know the wind is high at night. So there was those tuma sparks and we think that is how the fire started,” said the officer.