FIREMEN battled a massive blaze that ripped through a popular market in Isa Town for nearly three hours last night.

It took 46 Civil Defence personnel and 18 fire engines to put out flames that engulfed the Isa Town Traditional Market.

The fire started at 7.44pm in the southern part of the facility near Ramez store and quickly spread to the rest of the market, forcing traders and shoppers to evacuate.

Interior Minister Lieutenant-General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa last night visited the site and followed up efforts to fight the fire.

He praised Civil Defence teams for their quick response and thanked citizens for helping firemen put out the blaze.

He added a new building for the market, set to open soon, enjoys better safety and security specifications.

Thick plumes of black smoke could be seen billowing into the sky from as far away as Manama.

No injuries were reported, but several firemen suffered smoke inhalation and were treated at the scene.

An investigation has been launched into the cause of the fire. Some traders at the site did not rule out foul play, according to our sister paper Akhbar Al Khaleej.

A witness said the blaze spread quickly because of flammable objects in several shops.

Hundreds of stalls went up in flames at the same market in a blaze in July 2012.

Following the 2012 fire, the market underwent a BD1 million revamp and is set to reopen soon. Traders have been selling their goods on a spare plot of land nearby ever since.

The new market contains around 600 stalls and has been constructed to the highest safety standards, according to Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Minister Dr Juma Al Ka’abi.


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