Fire engulfs Vietnamese market in Laos causing $8 mln in damage

By Anh Ngoc   May 19, 2016 | 03:32 pm GMT+7
Fire engulfs Vietnamese market in Laos causing $8 mln in damage
The wreckage left behind in Pakse market in the aftermath of the fire. : Overseas Vietnamese Association
A blaze broke out at around midnight on May 17 at a market located in the southwestern province of Champasack in Laos, destroying a large amount of property belonging to Vietnamese traders, according to the VNA.

Initial estimates by authorities in Laos say that 60 billion Kip (nearly $8 million) worth of property at Pakse Market was destroyed in the fire.

The flame broke shortly before 1a.m. and destroyed hundreds of stalls located in the 10,000 square meter area in the west of the market. Most of these stalls were owned by Vietnamese traders.

Chairman of the Overseas Vietnamese Association (OVA) in Champasak Province Cao Duc Hanh said more than 200 Vietnamese small traders lost all their goods in the fire. The association is already considering giving each affected household 500,000 Kip (over $60), Hanh said.

Nguyen Van Hai, who is head of Vietnam’s consulate in Southern Laos, said this is the biggest fire to ever break out in Champasak. Pakse Market is the major commercial center for the four provinces in southern Laos, where many Vietnamese Laotians and Vietnamese people gather to do business. No casualties were reported.

fire-engulfs-vietnamese-market-in-laos-causing-8-mln-in-damage
Local authorities are conducting an investigation into the cause of the fire. Photo by OVA in Champasak Province, Laos.

The Consulate General of Vietnam in Laos has asked local authorities to investigate the cause of the fire.

Pakse Market, also known as Dao Huong Market, was established in 1999 by Le Thi Luong – a Vietnamese Laotian. The total investment in the market was about $5 million and it was completed in 2001, serving the Vietnamese and local traders.

The market had over 700 stalls and most of them were run by Vietnamese people or Laotians with Vietnamese origin.

 
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