Buses up in flames; Millions in losses incurred

Richard Lal wipes away tears as he watches fire engulf the P A Lal company building in Walu Bay, Suva yesterday. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

THE P A Lal Holdings Ltd is believed to have incurred millions of dollars in losses in a fire that destroyed buses that were still under manufacture at its warehouse in Sonoma St at Walu Bay, Suva, yesterday.

Nine buses were destroyed in the fire, each cost about $200,000, while the tourist coach bus cost around $350,000.

When approached yesterday for an interview, company managing director Richard Lal, who is also the Fiji Bus Operators Association president, was in tears and declined to speak to the media.

However, Tacirua Transport Co Ltd administration and finance manager Anjani Singh said the fire would not in any way affect their business.

She said they were looking at getting two new coach buses with an estimated cost of around $200,000 to $250,0000 in September.

Fire officers trying put out a fire at P.A Lal Holdings Limited in Walu Bay, Suva

Posted by The Fiji Times on Sunday, July 21, 2019

“We have been working with this company ever since my grandfather’s time for the past 80 years and we have full confidence that they will recover,” Ms Singh said.

“They are well structured and we have had no issues with them. We, business partners, remain confident in them because of their capabilities and it is indeed a sad day for them.”

Meanwhile, efforts to get comments from Fiji Bus Operators Association general secretary Rohit Lachan remained futile when this edition went to press.

According to a statement from the National Fire Authority, the building was used to assemble coach-type buses and contained highly flammable materials and tyres.

They also confirmed that nine buses that were under manufacture were destroyed in the fire.

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