A massive fire broke out Wednesday at a popular Sunday Bazaar in Pakistan's capital Islamabad, burning nearly 300 shops and stalls.

The blaze started near Gate No 7 of the Bazaar where second-hand clothes and carpets are sold, according to various media reports.

Officials said that 10 fire brigade vehicles fought for several hours to extinguish the fire. They were helped by two fire tenders of the Pakistan Air Force.

However, no causalities have been reported following the incident.

The extent of the fire was so massive that it rapidly engulfed shops leaving over 300 burnt, media reports said.

Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah Khan has taken notice of the incident and sought a report from the district administration and ordered the deputy commissioner to monitor the rescue operation.

All routes going toward the bazaar have been sealed by the police. Taking to Twitter, the Islamabad police informed citizens to keep the adjacent part of the Srinagar Highway free and cooperate with the rescue department.

It added that the traffic has been diverted toward 9th Avenue.

The bazaar located in the G-9 area of the city has a history of fire eruptions. In October 2019, over 300 stalls were burnt in an early morning blaze.

In July 2018, At least 90 shops and stalls were burnt in the clothing and hosiery section in a fire incident. A year earlier in August 2017, a fire broke out in sections E and F of the bazaar after a solar-powered battery exploded in a hosiery stall.

The Sector H-9 weekly bazaar set up in 1980 covers 25 acres of land with a capacity for 2,760 stalls and shops. The bazaar is held thrice a week on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, but is locally known only as Sunday Bazaar.

It is frequented by both the rich and poor of the city as a venue for groceries, fruit, vegetables, second-hand clothes, carpets and several other items of daily use.

Source: PTI