Huge fire gutted 70 shops, 7 homes, 5 vehicles in Leepa Valley

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LEEPA: (Parliament Times) A massive fire in tehsil headquarter Leepa of District Hattian Bala in Azad Kashmir on night between Sunday and Monday caused colossal loss to the properties of the people besides destroying a food depot and a government rest house.
According to police sources, the fire caused by electric short circuit destroyed at least 70 shops with commercial goods, seven residential houses and five vehicles. The sources said, the fire started due to short circuit in one of the closed shop and spread very quickly as shops and houses were made of wood. The blaze also destroyed a flour depot with at least 1,400 bags of flour.
Fire brigade vehicles from nearby cities failed to reach for assistance as road leading to Leepa Valley was blocked owing to ongoing snowfall in the area. The local resident brought the fire under control on self help basis.
The only land route connecting Leepa with Muzaffarabad and Hattian Bala has been blocked due to snowfall for the past three weeks.
Meanwhile AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan who is currently in London termed the incident of fire in Leepa as highly unfortunate and directed the State Disaster Management Authority to provide relief to the affected people on emergency basis. He urged the official concerned to compile estimate of the losses caused by the fire and supply the food and non food items to the victims through Heli Copter. The Prime Minister also ordered an inquiry into fire incident and directed Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner Hattian Bala to keep him updated about the relief activities.
Meanwhile Acting AJK Prime Minister, Chaudhry Tariq Farooq has directed the district administration of Hattian Bala to provide relief to the affectees of the fire and initiate the process of their rehabilitation on urgent basis. The acting Prime Minister chaired a meeting held at Prime Minister Secretariat and attended by Special Secretary Ejaz Ahmed Khan Khan, Secretary Disaster Management Authority, Commissioner Muzaffarabad and other officials to review the losses caused by the fire. Chaudhry Tariq Farooq directed the officials to provide required assistance to the affected people as early as possible.

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