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Hundreds of millions could lost in Thingangyun fire

Rangoon (Mizzima) – The Rangoon municipal body and a construction contractor have estimated that the loss from the Thingangyun fire may reach hundreds of millions of Kyats.

Thingangyun market at Laydaung Kang Road in Thigangyun Township was destroyed by a fire which broke out at about 7:30 p.m. Friday and continued for about 3 hours, destroyed more than 650 shops out of total nearly 800 shops. 

According to an official who spoke with Mizzima on the condition of anonymity, “The estimated cost of building this market was over Ks. 100 millions. But the losses of shop owners are far more than that amount." thingangyun-fire4

Similar cost estimates were made by the construction contractor however the Rangoon Division Fire Department officially estimated the total cost of the fire at a mere Ks. 4.7 millions.

Built fifteen years ago the Thingangyun market is listed as a B Grade market and just one of the total 168 markets owned by Yangon (Rangoon) City Development Committee (YCDC). 

Investigators believe that the fire was started by a short circuit in the wiring between two grocery stores called ‘Soe Lwin Lwin’ and ‘Ko Latt’, which quickly spread. The Rangoon Division Fire Department said that the manager in charge of Myo Thet has been placed in custody and he would be put on trial.

“It is due to negligence of this individual that the market closed. He must take all responsibilities for the market's affairs. He must know the situation of his market. For instance, he must check the wiring. He must have preventive and pre-cautionary measures for fire”, an officer of Rangoon Central Fire Brigade said. 

“This market was too old so it must be rebuilt. Though they had a plan to upgrade the market, it was never done.  It is not the responsibility of the manager in charge. When something happened like that [the fire], the manager in charge became the scapegoat”, an official from YCDC said. 

“Under fire regulations even if a market is not equipped with an automatic fire extinguisher system, it must have a fire sensor and a fire alarm system. But such a system is not in any public market in Rangoon. But some markets jointly built with municipal and private companies such as Gamone Pwint shopping mall in Kabaraye market have such a system”, a building contractor suggested.

Last Updated ( Monday, 15 February 2010 23:40 )  

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