Fire spreads through Ramadan trade show

Dozens of trader stalls at a Ramadan trade show are reduced to ashes in one of the biggest fires this summer.

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SHARJAH // Dozens of trader stalls at a Ramadan trade show were reduced to ashes yesterday in what was called the biggest fire in the emirate this summer. The blaze broke out in a tent at the Al Sha'ab stadium in Hazana in the morning, and spread quickly. Police said no one was injured - the tent was believed to have been empty when it started. The fire was still being put out in the late afternoon. The fire caused panic as thick smoke billowed over Hazana and Ghaefiya areas. As firemen fought the flames, several loud blasts could be heard, which police said could have been caused by gas cylinders.

Traders looked on and sat huddled together in silence as the place where they had earned their livelihoods went up in flames. Abdullah Sultan, director of the Ramadan Exhibition, said that 66 of 202 stalls were destroyed in the fire. He said an estimate of damage would come after a police report and an insurance inspection. Police said they will ask that the exhibition remain closed until the investigation was complete.

The exhibition began on Monday and was to run in the evening until Oct 4. Showcasing traditional garments like gandulas and abayas, it has been staged during Ramadan for several years.