Russian trade centre blaze causes US$0.5 million losses to Vietnamese traders

Saturday, 2018-06-09 17:38:49
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Smoke at the scene of the blaze at the Port Trade Centre in Russia’s Kazan city. (Photo: NDO)
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NDO – Properties belonging to overseas Vietnamese traders caught fire when a large blaze broke out at the Port Trade Centre in Russia’s Kazan city in the early morning of June 6.

The fire damaged more than 2,800 square meters of shops, including many Vietnamese stalls, reported Nhan Dan Newspaper correspondents in Russia.

The local authorities had to mobilise over 300 firefighters and it took seven hours to completely extinguish the flames. Although there were no casualties, the fire left shopkeepers with severely damaged goods and properties. The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations has prosecuted a criminal case and will investigate the cause of the fire.

Leaders from the Vietnamese Association in Kazan said that the trade centre, located on Orenburg Street, consists of three buildings with 2,000 kiosks for rent. There are 31 Vietnamese business households leasing 70 kiosks at the centre. The fire burned more than half of the Vietnamese stalls. The remaining goods were not set on fire but the cargo was completely destroyed by smoke and the water from the firefighting.

The total damages for the Vietnamese traders are estimated at up to 31 million rubles (about US$0.5 million). Among the Vietnamese households in distress, many are in very difficult circumstances because they have suffered from previous fires.

Bulat Nagaev, owner of the mall, promised to restore the building destroyed by the fire in two months, and will soon set up enough space for the merchants who have damaged stalls, as well as providing them financial support worth a one-month’s kiosk rent.

On June 7, the Vietnamese Association in Kazan launched a donation movement among the local Vietnamese community to support the Vietnamese families affected by the fire. Furthermore, the Altyn Trade Center Management Board in Kazan, which is home to kiosks of hundreds of Vietnamese business households, has decided to waive the rent for two months for the victims of the fire, if they want to move to do business in this commercial centre.

Counselor Nguyen Quynh Mai at the Vietnamese Embassy in Russia informed that the embassy has regularly contacted the local Vietnamese association and Kazan authorities to take measures to safeguard and protect the benefits of the Vietnamese business community at the Port Trade Centre. It also plans to mobilise the Vietnamese communities in Russia to donate to support the families affected by the fire.