Vietnam dispatched officers to Laos on Monday evening to help put out a raging fire that broke out at a market in Savannakhet Province, where many Vietnamese merchants operated.
The fire started at Karol Market, located in Se Pon District in the Laotian province of Savannakhet, due to an unknown cause, Hoang Huu Thien, head of the Border Guard Office at the Lao Bao International Border Gate in north-central Quang Tri Province, confirmed to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on the same night.
Witnesses, who are owners of stores at the market, said the fire began at twilight the same day and got worse as night descended.
The border guard unit of Quang Tri deployed two fire engines to support the neighboring province of Laos immediately after being alerted of the fire.
Karol Market is located about 1.5 kilometers away from Vietnam’s Lao Bao International Border Gate, Thien said.
Many Vietnamese traders have been doing business at the market for many decades.
The market was still on fire at around 9:00 pm with dozens of kiosks engulfed in the blaze. Big blasts were heard as the flames reached stores selling firecrackers.
The locals, including many Vietnamese, also rushed to help extinguish the fire with rudimentary tools.
Local authorities will consider plans to compensate the store owners for their losses, according to Thien.
|Firecrackers blast off during a fire at Karol Market in Se Pon District, Savannakhet Province, Laos on July 27, 2020. Photo: H.T. / Tuoi Tre|