Monday, November 14, 2011

Fire devastates the largest market in Minbya in Arakan State

Monday, 14 November 2011 19:22 Te Te

New Delhi (Mizzima) – A fire at the Myoma Market, the largest market in Minbya in Arakan State, on Saturday damaged about 700 shops, according to the Minbya Township police station.

The fire started in a shop that stored palm oil in the market on Strand Road in Alelpine Ward in Minbya and spread through the vast market complex. Estimates said 567 market shops and more than 100 temporary shops were destroyed in the fire.

“They thought that the a spent fire in a charcoal stove could not cause a fire and did not pay attention. Palm oil was seeping into the stove. When people noticed it, they could not put out the fire,” a police official said.

Government authorities said the total value of the damage is about 850 million kyat (about USD $1 million), but shop owners said the value of the damage was about two billion kyat.

“The fire left the market in ashes. All the property in my shop was burned. Nothing can be used anymore,” a textile shop owner said.

The shops included household appliance shops, food shops, clothing shops, construction material shops and medicine shops.

A fire engine from Minbya and two fire engines from Mrauk-U fought the fire, which was extinguished about 10:15 p.m. Residents said the fire caused extensive damage because firemen could not respond quickly.

“The fire engines are not in good condition. One fire engine could not start its engine. Fire engines that came from other towns could not get here in time because of poor roads so all we could do was watch the fire,” said a resident.

On Sunday, the Arakan State chief minister inspected the market. The municipality will attempt to build a temporary market in a space near the market, according to the township police station.

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