Langa Bazaar reconstruction under way, with new safety measures
After a massive blaze burned down an estimated 1,800 shops in Erbil’s Langa Bazaar, a speedy reconstruction of the city's largest thrift market is underway. The government is helping with the project, including improved electrical wiring in a bid to prevent a repeat of the disaster.
"Upon an order from the prime minister, our technical committees were formed for fire extinguishing, water, and the electricity system,” said Halgurd Wali, supervising engineer of the reconstruction project.
He said once the shops are rebuilt, they will begin installing fire hose reels for the market.
"Fire extinguishing through an advanced system will be extended to all the shops and we will do our best to prevent the breakout of such fires at Langa Bazaar," he said.
Reconstruction work "is extensively underway," he added, in order for shopkeepers to reopen their stores as soon as possible.
"We are trying to finish everything in a month," he said.
The fire on October 25 is believed to have been caused by an electrical short. The damage was enormous, but there were no casualties.
Shop owners had called for the bazaar to be rebuilt as quickly as possible without a redesign since so many livelihoods depend on the popular market.
Photos by Mohammed Shwani