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Category: Fa Yuen Street Market Fire Nov 2011

Fire in Fa Yuen Street Market claims the lives of nine

Posted in Fa Yuen Street Market Fire Nov 2011, Hong Kong, and Photojournalism

Whilst I was in Hong Kong, I did some journalistic work and followed Ms Tse a native Hong Kong press photographer who worked for Metro HK.

On the evening of 30th November 2011, a fire of unknown cause damaged fifty stalls on Fa Yuen Street Market, an iconic market and bustling tourist destination. The fire spread to a block of residential housing causing the deaths of nine residents. Stock from the market was piled in the hallways and stairwells adding to the flammability of the block and impeding exit routes. This raises further governmental issues within Hong Kong. The flats in the block were subdivided illegally meaning existing small flats were partitioned off into even smaller spaces leading to dense, overcrowded accommodation. The lack of affordable housing, continuing rent increases and theĀ unenforcedĀ legislation around overcrowded housing and dense market stall demarcations has culminated in the deaths of nine people. Sadly, a similar blaze happened the year before in the same street, though that time without fatalities. Unfortunately it seems the lessons learnt will be too late for those nine who sadly lost their lives.