Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 23 September 2020

Huge fire breaks out in Ajman

Firefighters douse the blaze, which apparently started at a souq in the emirate

Latest: 100 stores destroyed in Ajman souq as investigators probe cause - in pictures

A hospital was evacuated after a huge blaze broke out in Ajman.

The fire is believed to have started at a Iranian souq in the emirate at about 6.30pm on Wednesday.

The souq is near Ajman Speciality Hospital and a fruit and vegetable market in the city's industrial area.

The souq has been closed for several months because of Covid-19 safety measures.

Workers at the neighbouring market said flames quickly engulfed the area.

The medical centre was evacuated as a precautionary measure as raging fire sent thick plumes of smoke billowing into the sky.

Police confirmed there were no casualties.

Firefighters battled a blaze at a souq in Ajman for more than two hours. The National
Firefighters battled a blaze at a souq in Ajman for more than two hours. The National

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

The souq, which is home to dozens of traders, is a popular attraction in Ajman, drawing visitors from across the Emirates.

Rajab Elsawi, who owns the Khadem Fresh Meat store opposite to the souq, said he alerted emergency services after he saw a thick blanket of black smoke develop.

He started to remove road barriers in order to allow fire crew access to the scene.

"It is a one-way road and barriers were placed to stop drivers from travelling against the flow of traffic, so I removed them to facilitate access for civil defence and police vehicles.

A massive blaze has broken out in Ajman.
A massive blaze has broken out in Ajman.

"There are dozens of shops in that souq."

Another worker, who asked not to be named, said several people tried to put the blaze out with fire extinguishers from their shops but were unable to contain the rapidly-spreading flames.

Ajman Civil Defence said the blaze had been brought under control at about 9pm.

They were assisted by personnel from Dubai, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain.

Major Gen Sheikh Sultan bin Abdullah Al Nuaimi, commander-in-chief of Ajman Police, said investigations were under way to determine the cause of the fire.

He said 25 police vehicles were rushed to the scene to support civil defence officers.

Updated: August 6, 2020 12:00 PM

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