Friday, December 1, 2023

Large fire extinguished in Mexico City’s giant wholesale market

A fire ripped through a large section of Mexico City’s main wholesale market Thursday night, but no fatalities or injuries were reported. 

The Mexico City Fire Department said just after 1 a.m. Friday that the fire at the Central de Abasto in the eastern Iztapalapa borough had been completely extinguished. 

Officials inspect the site of the fire in the central de abasto.
Despite damage to 43% of the containers section, officials have announced that the Central de Abasto will open as usual on Friday. (@VenegasUrzua/Twitter)

Some 200 firefighters from nine fire stations responded to the blaze.   

The market said in a statement that the fire broke out at about 7 p.m. in the “empty containers area,” where cardboard boxes, wooden crates and other receptacles are sold, but didn’t identify the cause of the blaze. 

The Central de Abasto said that 5,640 square meters of the 13,000-square-meter empty containers section – 43% of its total area – were affected. 

The “timely intervention” of firefighters and security and civil protection authorities ensured that no lives were lost and no one was injured, the market said. The fire was declared extinguished around 12.40 a.m.

Considering the size of the fire and the quantity and type of material in the area, the blaze was put out “quite quickly,” said Mexico City fire chief Juan Manuel Pérez Cova. 

The market’s statement said that the Central de Abasto and its entire community “express their profound solidarity” with the vendors from the empty containers area who suffered “material losses.”

It also said the market would operate normally on Friday, although the empty containers area will be closed.

The Central de Abasto is spread across 327 hectares, an area 51 times bigger than the capital’s central square, according to the Mexico City government, which describes the facility as the world’s largest market.

A wide range of fresh produce and other goods are sold at the market, where thousands of workers labor from dawn to dusk 365 days a year.

With reports from Reforma

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