Two children die as fire guts PNG’s national broadcaster units

NBC Five Mile fire
NBC staff units at Five Mile in Boroko ... gutted by fire yesterday. Image: PNG Bulletin

By Lina Keapu in Port Moresby

Two children have died and at least six staff of Papua New Guinea’s National Broadcasting Corporation lost their property worth thousands of kina in a blaze in Boroko.

The fire yesterday gutted two units of a four-unit property of the public broadcaster in Tanatana Street, impacting on eight families who occupied the building.

Staff and families who reside in the NBC compound said the fire started from one of the rooms on the ground level.

Investigations have started into how the fire began.

The fire started at about 2pm yesterday with two small children trapped inside.

Firefighters tried hard to put out the fire and save the children.

NBC staff who live there have blamed the management for negligence over the rundown building.

The father of the dead children is a senior archivist with the PNG’s oldest radio station.

The children were with a female tenant in a neighbouring room at the time of the fire while the mother was doing laundry.

Firefighters from Boroko Fire Station rushed to the scene after seeing thick smoke from a distance and hastily put out the flames with assistance from tenants.

Firefighters clean up at NBC blaze
Firefighters clean up after the bodies of the two young children were taken to the Port Moresby General Hospital mortuary. Image: PNG Bulletin

The mother of the dead children wept while the father, who had been at work, rushed home to search for the toddlers alongside firefighters, police and ambulance officers on site.

The bodies were taken to the Port Moresby General Hospital morgue.

The dead children were of mixed parentage from West Papua and Mailu in Central province.

Lina Keapu is a PNG Bulletin reporter.

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