Blaze destroys market in Red Sea town

The international market in Shalateen City, Red Sea Governorate, went up in flames on Monday, destroying dozens of stores and three cafeterias as it covered the city in a dense cloud of smoke.

Shalateen's only fire engine stopped the blaze before it spread to other areas of the market, but ran out of water before putting out the fire completely. Residents and merchants helped to finally put it out.

Eyewitnesses said the fire started at a cafeterias after a butane gas cylinder exploded. The fire spread to neighboring stores that sold wood, leather, plastic products, clothes and other products that were to be exported to Sudan.

Residents called on the Armed Forces to intervene. An aircraft was sent from Marsa Alam to extinguish the fire before it spread to the wooden houses of a nearby Bedouin community.

The Armed Forces also provided a fire engine to bring the blaze under control.

According to preliminary estimates, 50 kiosks and wooden stores were destroyed. Civil protection forces failed to control the fire on their own due to high winds and the presence of highly flammable materials onsite, sources said.

Four vehicles filled with drinking water from the desalination plant in Shalateen were used to douse the flames.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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