At Ministry of Finance, sparks and smoke induce fear
AN electrical spark and smoke caused the personnel of the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to evacuate, which caused panic yesterday.
Fortunately, no one was hurt or killed as a result of the incident, and it has since been under investigation.
The electrical sparks may have been caused by rainwater coming into touch with electrical wires in the power distribution box, according to observation by the Ministry maintenance employees.
The power distribution box (MCB) for the old wing is located in a room where an electrical spark and smoke event were detected yesterday between 13:20 and 13:35, according to a statement from the ministry.
“The Ministry has three distinct buildings, called wings. New, middle and old wings. According to observation by our maintenance staff, the electrical sparks may have been induced by rain-water coming in contact with electrical wires in the power distribution box, after seeping through the elevator machine room located on top of the old wing building.Following the above observation, our immediate action was to switch-off the power supply to the entire premises, from our main power distribution facility (MCB) located within the Ministry, while simultaneously evacuating staff and
reporting the incident to the Lusaka City Council (LCC) Fire Brigade and Zesco,” read the statement.
Power has since been restored to a sizeable number of offices and installations at the Ministry after the LCC firebrigade department and Zesco both arrived and conducted their investigations.
“At the moment, we are unable to determine the cost of the damage caused by the incident, however, we wish to assure the public that other than the power distribution room in the old wing, no other facility or room in the Ministry was affected by the incident.
The matter has also been reported to the Zambia Police Service for further investigations,” read the statement.