Friday, 14 August 2020

Maungdaw, Arakan State: A fire broke out in Ward No.1 of Maungdaw Town yesterday, at about 3:00 pm, gutting the customs office and four other public houses, a local trader said.

The fire broke out at the customs office, but the cause of the fire has not yet been ascertained. Local people and other government servicemen believe that some of the customs members set fire to their office, because the customs officers were informed recently that they would be checked for taking bribes from the people. So, they thought that by doing so, they would be able to hide their documents, said an aide of customs from the locality.    


The fire rapidly engulfed the entire office and spread to another four houses. There were no fire engines available to extinguish the fire.


After the office caught fire, villagers on seeing smoke, rushed to the spot, to put out the fire, but they were unable to do so because of strong winds. Therefore, the office, including 4 other public houses, was reduced to ashes.


There were no casualties. However, office documents, equipment, clothes and utensils and other necessary items have been destroyed.


The fire was controlled after the houses, including the customs office were gutted. The adjacent houses were affected by sparks from the office as the other houses were situated close by.


Regarding the fire, customs officer U San Linn and Deputy Customs Officer Kyaw Oo were arrested by the police yesterday and taken to the police station for interrogation, a close aide of police from Maungdaw said.  


 The estimated loss from the fire was 100 million kyat, according to local people.