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  • Writer's pictureFrantz Alcema,

Haiti's historic Iron Market ravaged by fire

A fire ripped through the historic Iron Market in Port-au-Prince on Monday night, destroying one of the city's major tourist attractions.

Police said Tuesday they are still trying to determine the cause of late-night blaze that ravaged the principal market, and said they were not aware of any deaths or injuries.

But, witnesses told local media in the capital that when they called the nearest fire station, they were told the fire engines were too low on fuel to respond. Instead they had to wait for fire engines to come from much further away.

President Jovenel Moise said on Twitter [in French] that he was "enormously saddened" by the news of the fire at the market.

I think of all those who have lost their livelihood," President Moise said.

The Iron Market dates from the 1890s. Then-President Florvil Hyppolite inaugurated the building in 1891 after it was shipped in pieces from Paris.

The market was damaged by fire in 2008 and then completely destroyed in the 2010 earthquake.

The refurishment had been funded by a $12m donation by Irish businessman Denis O'Brien, who is chairman of phone company Digicel which operates in Haiti.

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