Dakar’s Petersen market gutted by violent inferno

APA – Dakar (Senegal) By Oumar Dembele

A violent fire has destroyed Dakar’s Petersen market, gutting shops laden with goods early on Friday.

The market located in downtown Dakar went up in flames and took nearly three hours before they were contained by firefighters, reliable sources told APA.

Private radio RFM reported that "almost the entire market is destroyed by the flames”.

The cause of the fire remains unknown.

Petersen, a famous place located in the heart of the city, hosts businesses, including several Chinese-owned shops perched around the main streets.

According to a witness, the firefighters faced a real challenge extinguishing the flames, due to difficulties over access to the area affected thanks to narrow streets and running out of water given the violence of the fire.

“Many shops were on fire. Then, we called for backup from the different brigades of Dakar. It was around 10.15am that the fire was finally put out. However the work continues. We are putting in place a system in order to avoid any risk of fire,” Lieutenant-Colonel Ange Diatta declared.

He said they were alerted around 7:35am.

The mayor of Dakar Plateau, Alioune Ndoye who visited the scene of the tragedy, pledged to "rebuild the market" from the ashes.

Several officials have decried "the lack of fire extinguishers" in many Senegalese markets, most of which are characterized by poor electrical connections which often cause fires.

On 5 September, 2018, a violent fire gutted the Petersen market, burning to ashes more than 400 shops.


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