A 12-story market by the name of Abasin Zadran was gutted by fire on Thursday; the incident left one dead and 7 others wounded. The market could house more than 1500 stores.
Store owners say it is obvious the fire was deliberately set into the market and the government was not able to extinguish it even after 16 hours.
They claim almost 4000 people have lost their jobs following the fire.
“Government should spare no efforts and help us rebuild the market and also financially contribute to shop owners for rebuilding,” they said.
They also warned the government if they face negligence for their requests, they will spread their demonstration to other parts of the city.
Atighullah who was a store owner in the market and goes by one name as most do in Afghanistan said “before the incident, two who were wearing military uniforms entered the market and spread the words as if there had been a suicide attacker in the market and urged us to leave the market. But, once we returned, we saw all the market was in fire.”
He claimed that within just half an hour the entire 12-story market was in fire.
“Fire fighters also arrived too late and their tankers were also empty. They showed a real incompetence extinguishing the fire.” said he, adding “despite police announced that the fire has been extinguished by 2 p.m., it was actually been on by 2 a.m. of the next day.”
Zerolai Wardak another shop owner of the market told media that investments of more than 4000 people just vanished in front of their eyes and the government didn’t do anything.
He said the government should financially help them.
In the meantime, commercial advisor to the President Sirus Allaf who was also among the demonstrators told media that President Ghani instructed a team to probe into the incident.
Sirus Allaf added the team is mostly tasked to find if the incident was deliberate or not, and they will share their results with media by tomorrow.
He furthered the government will take shoulder a certain percent of the damage inflicted to shop owners.
Owner of the entire market Haji Khalil Zadran said the market was equipped with international standard firefighting system, but the spread of fire was so high that the system couldn’t resist.