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5400 sq meter fire at Almaty flea market extinguished 14 сентября 2013, 16:21

The area on fire reached 5400 square meters, four sections of the flea market in Almaty were damaged.
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©Roza Yesenkulova ©Roza Yesenkulova
The area on fire reached 5400 square meters, four sections of the flea market in Almaty were badly damaged, Tengrinews.kz reports citing a briefing of the Emergencies Department of Almaty. According to the deputy chief of the department Nurlan Madyarov, one woman was injured in the fire - she inhaled too much toxic smoke. Four more people applied for medical aid with bruises and cuts. "The flea market's warehouses and shopping containers were stuffed with highly combustive goods that fueled the fire into spreading very quickly. There was a panic among the market's traders trying to evacuate their goods: in a hurry to save their stuff they moved too much of the goods into the aisles cluttering the passage ways and preventing the fire engines from getting through," he said. Madyarov added that a wind of up to 2 meters per second also facilitated the spread of the fire. Two hours after the massive fire started it got the third level of complexity. According to the flea market's administrations, 50% of Olzha section burned down, and Ayan section (176 boutiques and warehouses) burned down completely, Keremet section burned down partly (50 boutiques), and Alatau section was damaged only slightly. According to Madyharov, the interrogation department has initiated a criminal case over the fire. The fire started at 1:33 p.m. on September 13 in Olzha section of the largest flea market of Almaty. Later the fire spilled into Ayan section and partially into Keremet and Alatau sections. The fire was taken under control and stopped spreading at 7:59 p.m. the same day and completely extinguished only in the morning of the following day at 6:38 a.m. on September 14. A total of 1518 firefighters, 142 fire engines and 2 helicopters were involved in the massive firefighting operation. By Roza Yesenkulova

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