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Market fire kills one, injures unknown number of people in Burundi


15:07, January 28, 2013

BUJUMBURA, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- A woman died and an unknown number of people were injured while trying to secure their items from a burning market on Sunday in Bujumbura, the capital city of Burundi.

Witnesses said the fire broke out at the Bujumbura's main market at about 05:30 (0330 GMT). The fire began in the department of beans and then extended to the side of clothes.

They said a woman has died while she had gone inside the burning market to secure some 500 million Burundi francs (312,000 U.S. dollars) that she had kept in her stand.

The Burundian police brought two fire fighter vehicles while the United Nations Office in Burundi (BNUB) brought another fire fighter truck, but they failed to extinguish the fire.

Damages are huge, but are not yet known.

The Burundian government has set up a commission led by Second Vice-President Gervais Rufyikiri to investigate the cause of the fire that reduced into ash the country's main market in Bujumbura, Burundian First Vice-President Therence Sinunguruza told a press briefing at the burning market.

"After we (government) heard the bad news, we held several meetings which ended up by the creation of a commission mandated to investigate the origin of the fire," said the vice president.

Sinunguruza advised people to avoid speculations on the origin of the fire and called on them to wait for the outcome of the assignment given to the commission.

He also called for solidarity with owners of the stands that were burned, saying "The Burundian government will do all it can to assist victims of the fire."

He stressed that the fire has "seriously" affected the national economy.

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