Peru: Hundreds of victims in fire

The shopping centre, which sells fireworks, is situated in Mina de Oro, in the old centre of Lima. The fire started at around 1.30 MSK on Sunday. The old part of Lima does not have an adequate water network, the cause for the delay in the fire services managing to bring the blaze under control.

The toll to date is 227 dead, 35 people disappeared and 160 injured. The Fire Services chief, Tulio Nicolini, stated that “When the panic started, the doors were closed for fear of looting and people were trapped inside”. A great number of people frequent this store at this time of year to buy fireworks for their year’s end parties.

He said the cause of the fire was probably a spark in an area where fireworks were stored. A local trader declared that the spark was caused by a firework set off by a street vendor, which went off inside the shopping centre.