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PM offers $300k in fire repairs

 vendor sorts through remains of the Doeum Kralanh market in Siem Reap
A vendor sorts through remains of the Doeum Kralanh market in Siem Reap. PHOTO SUPPLIED

PM offers $300k in fire repairs

PRIME Minister Hun Sen has offered $300,000 for the reconstruction of the Doeum Kralanh market in Siem Reap after a Saturday morning electrical fire destroyed more than 300 of the market’s 600 vendor stalls, causing damages exceeding $1 million.

Tith Narong, Siem Reap city police chief, said firemen used 10 fire trucks to control the blaze, and that the fire – which began about 1am – was finally extinguished at 5am.

The incident at Doeum Kralanh is the third recent market fire caused by faulty electrical wiring. In 2011, Siem Reap River market caught fire, causing damage to more than 30 storefronts. In December last year, eight people lost their lives when the Siem Reap night market burst into flames in the middle of the night, inflicting serious injuries on two others.

Fortunately, no one was injured in the fire on Saturday, Khim Bun Song said. The governor met with the 157 owners of the 316 destroyed stalls, explaining the damage caused and Hun Sen’s offer of $300,000 for the rebuilding of the market.

“The damages total to about $1.1 million,” Bun Song said. “We went to the market today to spread our Prime Minister’s words to the vendors. [Hun Sen] announced and ordered authorities to have a look and rebuild this market again after vendors seek assistance from him.”

Bun Song said officials are meeting to discuss a starting date for the rebuilding today.

At least one vendor was pleased by the news yesterday, but suggested nonetheless that the governor find a new owner for the market.

“The [current] owner always thinks about money more than our safety, and she never listens to our suggestions about the dangerously unorganised electricity cables in the whole market,” said a vendor who asked to be identified only as Doeun.

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