Latin America & Caribbean

Nicaragua: Dozens of shops lost to blaze at traditional market

A view of a stand on fire at the Oriental Market in Managua, Nicaragua, 14 May 2017 Image copyright EPA
Image caption Mercado Oriental is one of the biggest markets in Central America

A fire in Nicaragua has destroyed part of a traditional market in the centre of the capital, Managua.

More than 60 stalls and shops at the Mercado Oriental have been lost to the blaze, which began in the early hours on Sunday.

Shopkeepers and market workers rushed to the area to try to rescue their belongings and minimise their losses.

It took firefighters four hours to control the fire. There were no casualties, the authorities said.

The fire began before 06:00 local time (13:00 BST).

Firefighters struggled to reach the central area of the market, according to Nicaragua's Disaster Prevention Agency.

Access to many hydrants has been blocked by shops built illegally over the years as the market expanded without proper planning, local media reported.

An estimated 100,000 people visit Nicaragua's biggest market every day.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption No one was injured or killed despite the fierce blaze
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Some 200 stalls were evacuated as a precaution
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Many shopkeepers took their stock away before the blaze was controlled
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Others risked their lives to try to put out the fire

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