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Riverton fire price tag could exceed $311 million

Published:Tuesday | May 5, 2015 | 4:55 PMEdmond Campbell, Senior Staff Reporter

Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) today heard that the Riverton City fire has cost two major public bodies a total of $311 million and the amount could further rise.

That is because the figure does not include any medical claims which have been filed by persons affected by the blaze. 

Acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Dionne Jennings told the PAC this morning that the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) racked up $251 million in costs to put out the massive fire.

Meanwhile, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) reportedly spent $60 million as it assisted in the efforts.

Jennings noted that, to date, auditors at the NSWMA have verified $232.8 million worth of the invoices presented to the agency for payment.

She says the agency has paid $107.6 million associated with the cost of putting out the fire.

The Acting Permanent Secretary says additional costs associated with medical bills will be collated at a debriefing session with the relevant stakeholders. 

The March fire at the Riverton dump blanketed sections of Kingston and St Andrew and Portmore in St Catherine.

It forced the closure of schools and businesses for days and negatively impacted communities within and outside the Corporate Area.