Explosions were rocking Lao capital Vientiane’s biggest marketplace, Thong Khan Kham after a fire started at approximately 7:40 p.m. yesterday.
One shopkeeper, who operates a curtain shop on the street outside Thong Khan Kham told Xinhua that the fire broke out from a corner of the marketplace before spreading quickly around 7:40 p.m.
Xinhua reporters have witnessed shopkeepers braving the extreme heat to rescue their goods as the fire continues to engulf the area. The streets were filled with frantic people making it difficult for fire trucks to navigate the area.
The fire had knocked out power for surrounding areas and locals were evacuating the area. Eyewitnesses told Xinhua that explosions were rocking the marketplace, presumably from cooking gas left after the market had closed.
Thong Khan Kham is one of Vientiane’s most renowned marketplaces and sells everything from fresh produce to baskets, clothing and tools.