Middle EastSaudi Arabia

Huge fire strikes fodder market in eastern Saudi Arabia, no casualties reported

A huge fire has erupted at a fodder market in eastern Saudi Arabia causing material damage, but no casualties, local media say.

The raging fire broke out in the market’s parking area in Hafr Al Batin city in the Eastern Province on Wednesday, gutting at least 20 trucks loaded with fodder, Al Youm daily reported.

Firefighters successfully prevented the massive fire from spreading to other parked trucks and finally managed to contain the blaze, the cause of which is still under investigation.    

On Thursday, local media reported that the fire had left no casualties.

Following the incident, the province’s branch of the Ministry of the Environment, Water and Agriculture ordered the inspection tours of fodder warehouses to be intensified.

According to Amer al-Mutari, the director-general of the ministry’s branch in the Eastern Province, the fire inflicted damage to a small part of the market and some trucks.

He urged vendors and owners of warehouses to comply with safety standards and secure fire safety equipment, including fire extinguishers.

Last week, a fire erupted at the same market, Al Youm added, citing customers who claimed that the place lacks in necessary safety measures.

Separately on Wednesday, a huge fire struck a closed fruit and vegetable market in the new industrial area in Ajman, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), local media reported.

The blaze, which erupted at 6:30 pm local time, caused no casualties and was soon brought under control, the report cited the head of Ajman police.

The market, which is known as the Iranian Souq, is considered a popular attraction in the city, drawing visitors from across the Arab country.

According to the UAE’s state-run news agency WAM, parts of the market which had already been closed for the previous four months due to coronavirus precautions, collapsed and burnt to the ground.

The fires in Saudi Arabia and the UAE came just a day after a catastrophic explosion rocked the Lebanese capital of Beirut, killing at least 137 people and wounding at least 5,000 more.

Dozens of people are still missing, and at least 300,000 people have been displaced as a result of the colossal blast, which leveled the whole port and a large section of central Beirut and turned successive apartment blocks into masses of debris and twisted metal.

A large supply of confiscated explosive material that had been stored in a warehouse at the city’s port for the past six years is suspected to have caused the massive explosion, the biggest to ever hit the Middle East, but investigations have just started to establish what happened. 

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