The Gobi Cashmere factory has recovered from their recent fire incident and is now operating normally, the company reports.

The factory temporarily closed for around 10 days since June 14 to repair the factory’s burnt roof and for maintenance work inside. The large-scale fire that broke out two weeks ago is suspected to have been the result of poor maintenance service by Top Roof Company that fixed some problems on the roof a few days prior to the fire.

Prime Minister J.Erdenebat personally visited the Gobi Cashmere factory last Sunday to oversee the process of the repair work as the company is one of the few exporting companies in Mongolia. Reportedly, eight companies repaired damages from the fire that spread to up to 23,000 square meters.

While overseeing repairs, Prime Minister J.Erdenebat stated, “It’s been around 10 days since the fire broke out. Gobi Cashmere was able to do repairs and resume operations in a very short period of time. Being able to overcome such a huge obstacle in such a short time proves that Mongolians are capable of supplying promised products on time in accordance with contracts made with local and foreign companies. It also demonstrated that our emergency workers are always ready for any unforeseen disaster.”

Preliminary results indicated that the large-scale fire started as gas that was used to seal black paper on top of a hole on the roof accumulated in the factory’s ventilation pipe.

Govi Cashmere undergoing refurbishment
Govi Cashmere undergoing refurbishment

Spokesperson for Gobi Cashmere Ts.Baatarsaikhan stated that the factory decided to improve the interior of their factory during the repairs following the fire, and shared that they plan to complete all repair and innovation before the National Naadam Festival.

“Even though the factory was commissioned a long time ago, its engineering solution and water drainage system was still in good shape. Thanks to this and the quick measures taken by firefighters and emergency workers, we have avoided a large amount of damage,” Ts.Baatarsaikhan said.

According to preliminary assessment, the company faced a damage worth up to eight billion MNT.

“Some products, raw materials and equipment got soaked. However, the emergency agency wasted no time in stopping the spread of the fire and prevent the roof from collapsing. It’s hard to tell how extreme the extent of damage would have been if they hadn’t extinguished it in time. Our stock prices were falling but now, it’s going back up. We’re discussing the damages and compensation with insurance companies,” Ts.Baatarsaikhan elaborated.

Gobi Cashmere has postponed its export by two weeks after the fire incident. The spokesperson assured that they will resume normal operations and start supplying products shortly.

Reportedly, the company raised 30 million MNT through donations made by people who wanted to support the company. Gobi Cashmere announced that it will spend half of this money to improve the equipment of emergency management agencies.

June 15

Gobi factory fire extinguished after 10 hours

A large fire broke out at the Gobi Cashmere factory, one of the largest factories in Mongolia, yesterday evening at around 8:30 p.m., and was extinguished nearly 10 hours later, at 5:00 a.m.

More than 200 fire fighters tried to extinguish the Gobi Cashmere factory fire until early Thursday morning
More than 200 fire fighters tried to extinguish the Gobi Cashmere factory fire until early Thursday morning

The Ulaanbaatar Emergency Department arrived at the site with four trucks 10 minutes after receiving a report about the fire. The first fire fighting team at the scene had to call for back up, as they could not prevent the fire from spreading.

“Ten fire brigades from six central districts were called to the site at around 3:00 a.m.,” stated D.Erdenebaatar, deputy head of the Ulaanbaatar Emergency Department. “There were some structures that caused significant difficulty in extinguishing the fire. For example, a roof expansion was built with 30-centimeter thick wood planks, and three to five layers of insulation made of black paper and fiberglass were placed on top of it.”

More than 200 firefighters tried to put out the fire, which spread quickly across the roof of the factory. According to officials, six tons of water was sprayed on the fire every 12 minutes. Water was being pumped non-stop from the Monos and 100 Ail wells, the APU Company factory, and other water sources  by 12 Ulaanbaatar Water Supply and Sewage Authority trucks that were sent to assist in the fire fighting effort. Officials reported that Ulaanbaatar Railway also transported 68 tons of water to the Gobi Cashmere factory.

Officers from the First Police Department of Khan-Uul District immediately closed all entrances to the factory when they arrived at the scene and only allowed trucks transporting water to go through. Some Gobi Cashmere employees were working at the factory when the fire broke out, and helped escort one another out. Employees also helped fire fighters remove items from inside the factory, but they weren’t able to remove sewing machines and other equipment inside the building.

Although the total number of people who were inside the factory when it caught fire is still unknown, the Ulaanbaatar Emergency Department announced yesterday that although the roof of the factory was badly damaged, there were no causalities or major injuries involved. The full extent of the damage to the factory is yet to be confirmed.

When speaking to reporters on Thursday afternoon, D.Erdenebaatar noted that the fire might not have been fully extinguished, and that the black smoke seen coming from the factory was caused by burning fiberglass insulation. He added that reinforcements  were called from provincial emergency management agencies to help extinguish the fire.

According to the Mongolian Stock Exchange, following news of the fire, the price of Gobi Cashmere stock fell  by nearly 15 percent to 2,060 MNT. Mongolian social media has been bursting with posts showing support for the company, including messages from retired sumo Grand Champion Asashoryu D.Dagvadorj and President of the Mongolian Intellectual Academy Kh.Khatanbaatar.


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