A fire broke out at a warehouse storing raw materials used to make Coca-Cola bottles on Thursday morning, causing almost a million dollars in damage.
More than 400 fire-fighters and 45 fire engines rushed to the scene and battled the blaze for five hours before it was extinguished at noon. One fire-fighter was injured and the damage caused by the fire is estimated to be more than K1.1 billion (US$854,950).
The warehouse is located in the industrial zone in Mingaladon Township and stores large quantities of the soft-drink giant’s plastic pellets.
Authorities are investigating the cause of the blaze.
“A neighbouring family saw the fire after they smelled the burning plastic, and they called us at around 7am. They estimated that the fire started around 6:30am,” said U Thaw Dar, the deputy director of the Yangon Region Fire Services Department.
“No one was in the warehouse when the fire began. The guards locked the door of the warehouse and went home at around 8pm the previous night,” said the official, quoting one of the neighbours who first spotted the blaze.
“The fire fighters also used cranes and towers, finally getting the flames under control at around 8:30am. The warehouse is not easily accessible because it is surrounded by mud,” U Thaw Dar said.
Heavy winds were blowing during the fire. The main reason why the fire lasted so long is that fire engines could not access the scene simultaneously because the warehouse is not easily accessible,” said witness U Tun Win.
Coca-Cola opened its bottling plant in Hmawbi Township in Yangon in June 2013, after an absence from Myanmar of more than 60 years.
No one at Coca-Cola was available for comment at the time the story went to print.
Zaw Gyi (Panita)/Aye Min Soe