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HOMEWORK Incendio de Mesa Redonda, Per Lima, la Ciudad de los Reyes, de una conformacin multitnica hemos heredado varias

tradiciones desde la Colonia, una de ellas es la pasin por los fuegos artificiales. Todos los aos en el mes de diciembre se incrementa el comercio de estos artefactos por las fiestas de navidad y ao nuevo. En el centro de la ciudad, se encuentra el Mercado Central, que histricamente ha sido escenario de incendios. El centro tiene calles angostas, algunos edificios de material noble y otros de quincha (construccin de barro con caas de carrizo, altamente inflamable), construcciones convertidas en galeras comerciales. "Mesa Redonda" es el nombre antiguo de una caprichosa calle donde miles de comerciantes venden sus productos en las condiciones ms precarias e inseguras imaginables. El ao 2001 se import la increble cantidad de 1100 toneladas de material pirotcnico, ms de la mitad se comercializ en estas calles. A partir del da 20 de diciembre el cerco policial existente se empez a desvanecer y el ingreso de mercadera prohibida se increment. El da sbado 29 de Diciembre del 2001, al mediar las 19 horas y algunos minutos empezaron a reventar fuegos artificiales como si hubieran adelantado el ao nuevo. Era una emergencia fuera de control y tambin fuera de cualquier clculo. Era como si un avin hubiese cado en medio de la ciudad, el desastre estaba en progreso. El fuego se expandi rpidamente, consumiendo cinco manzanas en escasos minutos porque el piso estaba cubierto de plvora que se haba salido de las cajas en el momento de descargarlas para su venta. En el foco del desastre habra ms de 4000 personas entre vendedores y compradores, quizs nadie saba que pasaba y menos lo entenda Cuarenta carros bomba y 440 bomberos combatieron el fuego por tres horas. stos lograron rescatar treinta personas atrapadas en un altillo. Las escenas eran dantescas. Restos de madera, papel y plstico lanzaban ftidos olores. Vehculos con chofer y pasajeros carbonizados en medio de la pista. En una esquina, ms de una docena de cuerpos totalmente calcinados se aferraban a sus carretillas de carga o paquetes. En otro lugar se descubrieron 30 cadveres apiados en un espacio de dos metros cuadrados. Muchos comerciantes murieron asfixiados mientras buscaban refugio dentro de sus tiendas y cerraron las puertas para protegerse del vandalismo.

Decenas ms murieron electrocutados, posiblemente debido a una sobrecarga de la estacin elctrica que se encontraba en el lugar del incendio. El fuego se control a las 11:00 pm., bomberos tirados en las calles exhaustos. En el lugar yacan 70 unidades del Cuerpo de Bomberos y ms de 500 bomberos, casi todas las mangueras tenan huecos, caminar entre las mangueras era una ducha segura. Ms de 50 ambulancias llegaron en total. El increble saldo de esa noche macabra fue: 280 cuerpos encontrados, 20 restos incompletos (solo extremidades); fueron reconocidos 89 cuerpos usando todas las tcnicas convencionales conocidas, el 70% de los cuerpos lo conformaron mujeres y nios. Translate: Fire in Round Table, Peru Lima, the kings city, of a conformation many-ethnic we have inherited several traditions from the Colonia, one of them is the passion for the fireworks. Every year the commerce of these appliances for the Christmas and New Year parties increase on December. Downtown, it finds the central market, than historically has been scenario of fires. The center has got narrow streets, some buildings of material nobleman and other ones of reed binding (clay construction with canes of reed, highly inflammable), constructions turned into shopping arcades. Round table is antique name of a capricious street where tradespeoples thousands sell their products in the most precarious and uncertain conditions imaginable. In 2001 the incredible 1100- tons quantity of material pyrotechnic imported itself, over half of this traded in these streets. Starting on December 20th the police fence existent began to dispel and entrance of the prohibited merchandise incremented. The day was Saturday on December 29, 2001, at 19 hours and some minutes began to crack fireworks as if New Year had advanced. It was an emergency outside control and also out of whichever calculation. It was as if an airplane had fallen in the middle of the city, disaster was in process. The flames were spreading rapidly, consuming five blocks in scarce minutes because the floor was covered with gunpowder that had come out of the boxes in the moment of to discharge them to their sale. There were over 4000 people among salespeople and buyers in the focus of the disaster, perhaps nobody was knowing that it was happening and less they was understanding it. Forty cars with fire engine and 440 firemen fought the gunfire for three hours. These were able to rescue thirty people trapped in a hill.

The scenes were terrifying. Remains wooden, paper and plastic were throwing fetid smells. Vehicles with driver and carbonized passengers in the middle of the road. In a corner, over a totally-reduced to ashes-bodies dozen were seized to their burden wheelbarrows or parcels. Someplace else firemen discovered 30 crowded cadavers in a space of two square meters. Many tradespeople died asphyxiated while they were seeking refuge inside their stores and turned off the doors to protect themselves of the vandalism. Groups of ten died electrocuted, possibly due to the overload of the station electric that was located at the place of the fire. The fire stopped at 11:00 pm., firefighters lay down exhausted on the streets. At the place were coming 70 units of firefighters' body and over 500 firemen, approximately all the hoses were containing holes, to walk between hoses was a certain shower. Over 50 ambulances arrived in total. The incredible balance of that macabre night was: 280 found bodies, 20 incomplete remains (only extremities); 89 bodies were acknowledged using all the conventional techniques known, the seventy for one hundred of the bodies was consisting women and children. By: Jhersy Valer Bejarano

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