300 shops gutted in Karachi’s Cooperative Market blaze

KARACHI: A massive fire in Karachi’s Cooperative Market has reduced almost 300 shops to ashes till Monday afternoon, said traders.

The market’s traders said that 90% of the shops and warehouses were destroyed and a loss worth Rs5-10 billion has been incurred. Short-circuit might be a possible reason behind the massive fire, said the traders.

The owners of the shops are trying to remove leftover stock from the market.

The affected traders lamented that despite such a hefty loss, no official visited the place.

While talking to Geo News, traders alleged that chemical was used to set the market on fire as there was some dispute between the builder and shop owners.

The incident

A fire broke out Sunday evening at Cooperative Market near Regal Chowk in Karachi’s Saddar.

Pakistan Navy fire tenders also participated in the firefighting operation.

A spokesperson of the Pakistan Navy had said that the assistance was provided at the request of the civil administration.

Karachi Commissioner Muhammad Iqbal Memon and personnel of various law enforcement agencies had visited the site to monitor the firefighting operation.

The Karachi commissioner had told Geo News that the inferno had been declared a “third-degree fire”.

He had said that there are around 300-400 shops in the market, of which “35 had been completely gutted”.

When asked about the cause of the fire, he said it would be premature to comment on the matter at this point.

The affected shopkeepers had claimed that the fire tenders arrived an hour after the fire broke out and said that major losses could have been averted.

They had said that the fire erupted on the ground floor and spread to the first floor shortly as there was a huge stock of cloth inside the shops there.

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