JAKARTA: An enormous fire engulfed a historic market in the Indonesian capital Jakarta yesterday, with hundreds of firefighters deployed to battle a blaze that sent huge clouds of black smoke floating over the city. The fire began at dawn on the ground floor of Pasar Senen market, a sprawling complex of stalls on several levels that was built during Dutch colonial rule. Fifty fire engines were deployed to battle the blaze, which was still going strong in the afternoon.
Several people suffered from minor burns. It was not clear what caused the fire in the market, which is in central Jakarta and sells goods ranging from textiles to food. Despite the fire, some shop owners rushed into the market in a bid to salvage their goods, while others who were barred from entering by security guards and police hurled stones at the complex in frustration. “My shop is inside. It’s all gone, finished, nothing left,” shopkeeper Edwin, who only gave his first name, said. Pasar Senen—which translates as “Monday market”—has been hit by several big fires in the past. —AFP