News / Africa

Fire Guts South Sudan Hotel in Juba

  • Smoke billows from the South Sudan Hotel in Juba and flames are visible under the roof after fire raked through the hotel on Wednesday, Oct. 2.
  • Flames crackle under the roof of the South Sudan Hotel in Juba.
  • South Sudan Hotel manager Mel Garang Yout surveys damage after fire ripped through the hotel on Oct. 2, 2013.
  • Black smoke from the fire at the South Sudan Hotel, which was gutted by flames on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, could be seen across Juba.
  • A worker helps to clear charred rubble from the South Sudan Hotel, which was heavily damaged by a fire on Oct. 2, 2013.
South Sudan Hotel Fire
Lucy Poni
Black smoke billowed above Juba Wednesday as fire tore through the South Sudan Hotel in the Buluk area, causing major damage but no injuries or deaths.

The fire, which the hotel's food and beverage supervisor, Flora Senya Khamis, said was caused by an electrical short that ignited curtains in a lounge room, started at around 11:00 am and ripped through 31 rooms, including a dining hall, before it was put out by South Sudanese and United Nations fire fighters. 

Nothing was salvageable from the rooms that were gutted by the fire, said Khamis. 

Hotel manager Mer Garang confirmed that the fire was sparked by an electrical short circuit, caused when the hotel was shifting from generator power to mains power.

Mathew Mayour, Secretary-General of the National Congress Party in South Sudan, who lives at the hotel, said he rushed from his office to rescue his belongings when he heard about the fire.

“I was in my office and there was a call from somebody in the hotel, saying that 'there is a burning in your rooms and your things are inside and the keys were not found,'" he said.

"So I rushed in... I managed to rescue my things in my rooms although I lost two bags to boys who were just helping us and decided to snatch two bags,” he said.

A staff supervisor at the hotel, Gore Atiya, who was among people trying to salvage property from the burning rooms, said the damage to the hotel was made worse by the slow response by the Juba fire brigade. Khamis said the city's firefighters arrived at the scene of the blaze only after a dozen rooms had been totally burnt.

"If there was a quick response from the fire brigade, the fire would not have spread but because they came late, the fire goes very fast in the first floor which makes a lot of detriment and a lot of loss," Atiya said.

But Central Equatoria State Fire Brigade Chief, John Domilian Daniel, said fire fighters rushed to the scene as soon as the alarm was sounded but were hampered once there by the fact that they only had one truck, had to get water for their pumps from a nearby river, and were dealing with a fire that was already large when they arrived. 

Domilian has asked the government to better equip the fire brigade so that it is better placed to respond to fire emergencies in the rapidly growing city of Juba.

It was unclear if the hotel would be able to reopen.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yaiyaat from: Abyei
October 09, 2013 8:26 AM
Sorry for something happened but God will save us

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs