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A large fire tore through a street market in Haiti early Thursday, consuming thousands of dollars’ worth of goods as vendors wailed over their losses.
The market, known as Shada, is located in Petionville, next to the capital of Port-au-Prince.
Vendors began arriving before sunrise to try and quell the flames, throwing bucketsful of sand on blazing roofs before firefighters arrived.
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A vendor salvages items from the burned ruins of the Shada Market near Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on May 4, 2023, after a fire tore through the popular street market. (AP Photo/Odelyn Joseph)
Stevenson Midi, 42, said he lost hundreds of dollars’ worth of produce including plantains, and that he and other vendors were worried about their bank loans.
“It’s going to be even harder to pay back,” he said as he surveyed the smoking rubble behind him.
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While he spoke, vendors walked by screaming and yelling, “Why did this happen to me?!” and “What did we do wrong?!” A bulldozer began clearing the debris.
The market is popular within the community, with hundreds of vendors gathering daily to sell bananas, charcoal, yams, spinach and other goods.
It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the fire, which comes as poverty and hunger across Haiti deepens amid growing political instability and gang violence.