Mar 26, 2014

Tragedy at La Terminal in Guatemala City

Screen shot 2014-03-26 at 10
crédito de foto:Mike Allison

Source: Central American Politics

By Mike Allison

Yesterday's bad news was that La Terminal, Guatemala City's main market, went up in smoke. About sixty people were injured due to burns, falling debris, and smoke inhalation. The fire also caused approximately $90 million in losses. At least 600 stalls were destroyed. The fire started early in the morning and was allegedly caused by a short circuit.

There's a lot of blame going around right now. Bomberos arrived quickly but the fire was already out of control and they could not access water for several hours. Vendors going in to save their goods also slowed down the bombero's efforts. Many vendors used gas cylinders for cooking and warmth, most of which exploded during the fire, making work extremely dangerous. Some vendors believe that there was "a criminal hand in the fire."

However, there were also many examples of heroism. Hundreds of volunteers joined withbomberos to prevent the fire from spreading any more than it already had. Food prepared by the vendors to sell that day was instead provided to the bomberos and volunteers.

Vendors shouted to President Otto Perez Molina, Vice President Roxanna Baldetti, and Mayor Alvaro Arzu that they wanted the market rebuilt. It's not clear yet, however, whether they are going to rebuild the market in the same place.


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