RAHIM YAR KHAN: More than 35 shops were burnt in a fire at a flea market at Khanpur, about 45km away from here, on Friday morning.

According to the residents of Dinpur Chowk area, the fire erupted in the morning when shops were closed and spread in no time to the whole market. Initially, neighbouring residents informed police and two fire brigade vehicles of Khanpur municipal committee reached there to control the blaze. The fire could not be controlled even after two hours due to less number of firefighters.

Rescue 1122 spokesperson Adnan Shabbir told this correspondent that a local resident called helpline and then rescue and municipal committee vehicles reached there to control the blaze. He said there were total stocks worth Rs80 million and the estimated loss was Rs35 million.

Eyewitnesses said neither the tehsil administration had checks and balances for safety in commercial areas of Khanpur nor did shopkeepers bother.

Assistant Commissioner Almas Saqib told Dawn there were two warehouse of LPG cylinders which were saved from fire.

He said he had called a meeting of all stakeholders including Mepco officials and LPG authorised dealers to implement the safety measures on Monday.

He said the shopkeepers would be instructed to install fire extinguishers in their shops and a municipal committee team would monitor them on a regular basis.

Published in Dawn,May 21st, 2022

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