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Wednesday Aug 23 2017

Over 1,000 stalls gutted as fire engulfs Islamabad's Sasta Bazaar

ISLAMABAD: Rescue officials succeeded in extinguishing the inferno which spread across the city's Sasta Bazaar in Sector H-9 earlier today.

It was feared that the fire would not be doused easily as the market contained garments and other goods that easily caught fire. Moreover, rescue officials feared the shifting winds further aided the spread of the blaze. 

However, around 12 fire tenders and dozens of firefighters were able to douse the flames along with help from local shopkeepers. 

The inferno gutted more than 1,000 stalls, said officials. Islamabad's deputy mayor assured shopkeepers that they would be compensated for their losses after a survey of the area is completed.

Rescue officials claimed the fire was caused by shopkeepers who lit up garbage close to the market.

Initially, officials said at least 10 clothing stalls were engulfed by the inferno, adding that five fire tenders were on site while at least two more 'main bowsers' of the Capital Development Authority were called in.

The site, situated in Sector H-9 near Peshawar Mor, is frequented by scores of residents as it hosts the weekly budget markets. 

Rescue officials said initially that they hope to contain the fire shortly as they were able to reach the shops engulfed by flames owing to the well-planned structure of the market. 

However, as the fire spread unexpectedly, shopkeepers rushed to save their livelihoods by extracting all they could from their stalls. 

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Asad Umar criticised the ‘slow’ and ‘inept’ response of authorities and expressed support and sympathy for the victims. 

Umar is the member of the National Assembly from the area that was affected.