Forty four mln birr in damage
The Addis Ababa police Commission is still investigating the cause of a fire that damaged Anbessa buses on February 12. The fire, which occurred at the company’s maintenance site at Mekannisa caused 44 million birr worth of damage to 11 buses which had been scheduled to undergo maintenance. Spare parts were also damaged by the blaze.
Over 60 firefighters did manage to save 546 buses and the Addis Ababa city Fire and Emergency Prevention and Rescue Agency (AFEPRG) reported that no-one was hurt.
A source told Capital that guards who were working at the site on the day the incident occurred, were detained by police for further investigation but the manager said no arrests have been made so far.
Samuel Gebrekidan CEO of Anbessa Bus Mekanessa branch said “this is the first time fire like this has happened at our garage, we don’t know the cause yet but investigators are working on finding out. I’m not sure if it is related to criminal activity or not but this is a sad event because even if one bus is damaged it affects thousands of customers.”
Negatu Mamao, public relations head of AFEPRG told Capital that the damage would have been worse if the fire department had not responded so quickly.
“There is a depot in the garage which holds 90,000 liters of fuel, if the fire reached that location the flames could have expanded to residential areas,” he said.
According to Negatu fire fighters used 167,000 liters of water and 4,500 kg of foam to extinguish the fire. Eight fire trucks came from Kolfe, Kiriokos and Addis Ketema branches of AFEPRG.
Bishoftu, Mercedes, and Daf were the brands of the buses damaged by the fire.
The first public transport service to arrive in Addis Abeba, the Anbessa City Bus Service Enterprise was established in 1943 with five military vehicles running only five routes. It is now celebrating 74 years. Today Anbessa has around 900 buses, including the Bishoftu buses, which are assembled locally by the Metals & Engineering Corporation (MetEC).