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Haiti's historic Port-au-Prince Iron Market ravaged by fire

A firefighter stands amid the ruins of the Iron Market in Port au Prince. Image copyright Getty Images
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A fire ripped through the historic Iron Market in Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince on Monday night, destroying one of the city’s major tourist attractions.

The Marche en Fer, or Iron Market, had been rebuilt following the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The building also suffered heavy damage in a fire in 2008.

Traders lost their inventories and their livelihood as the blaze ruined one of the market’s two halls.

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Citizens look as the burnt hull of the Iron Market. Image copyright Getty Images
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Citizens stand amid the burnt-out wreckage of the Iron Market. Image copyright Getty Images
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A firefighter tackles the blaze in Port au Prince's Iron Market Image copyright Getty Images
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A crying man helps carry a fire hose to tackle the market blaze. Image copyright Getty Images
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Citizens helped firefighters to tackle the blaze, which caused significant damage. The fire reportedly began in a rubbish bag.

Haitian President Jovenel Moise said on Twitter [in French] that he was “enormously saddened” by the news of the fire at the market.

I think of all those who have lost their livelihood,” President Moise said.

Few sellers in the market have insurance and rebuilding their livelihoods will likely prove difficult.

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A trader carries his fire-damaged inventory. Image copyright Getty Images
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A trader carries a basket of food from the burnt out remains of the market. Image copyright Getty Images
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The Iron Market dates from the 1890s. Then-President Florvil Hyppolite inaugurated the building in 1891 after it was shipped in pieces from Paris.

The market was damaged by fire in 2008 and then completely destroyed in the 2010 earthquake. It was rebuilt with international help and reopened by former US President Bill Clinton in 2011.

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Former US president Bill Clinton reopens the Iron Market. Image copyright Getty Images
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A citizen attends the reopening of the Iron Market after its destruction in the 2010 earthquake. Image copyright Getty Images
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A woman watches the reopening through the iron bars of the market. Image copyright Getty Images
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