Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 6 January 2017 | 2,489 times
Nnewi timber market located in Nnewi North Local Government Area of Anambra State was between the midnight on Wednesday and the early morning of Thursday engulfed in an inferno that destroyed machines and goods worth millions of naira.
Speaking with journalists on the incident, Chairman of Nnewi Timber Dealers Association, Chief Chukwunonso Nnetu said that a security guard in the market alerted him at about 12 midnight about the inferno.
He explained that fire fighters from Awka, Nnewi and Onitsha service stations were immediately called to come and put out the fire but by the time the Nnewi fire fighters got to the market, the fire had reached an advanced stage.
Nnetu revealed that about 155 shops, 555 sawing and curving machines valued at N2 million each were destroyed as well as different categories and quantities of wood, etc.
According to him, the immediate cause of the inferno is yet to be ascertained but the loss is estimated at about N3 billion.
On his part, the Secretary of the Market Association whose shop was affected in the inferno, said most processing machines were gutted by fire.
Ugwu said that a similar fire incident occurred in the market in 2002 and called on the state and federal governments to assist the traders get back on their feet.
News Express learnt that five traders who collapsed on seeing the scene have been hospitalised as a result of the shock.
The Chairman revealed that some of the traders are down with high blood pressure as several others have lost their only means of livelihood.
A Director in the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Mr. Chukwudi Onyejekwe, described the incident as a painful and bizarre situation considering the amount of goods that were destroyed.
He said: “As you can see, the fire fighters are still battling with the fire since 1am. The agency will later investigate to ascertain the remote cause of the fire.
“We will assist the traders by urging the state and federal governments to come to the traders’ rescue through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
“We anticipated this and had been moving round the markets sensitising the traders on how to fight such inferno.”
A victim of the fire disaster, Mr. Anthony Ezenwa said that he lost over N2 million worth of goods to the fire.
Ezenwa who said he had been in the market for more than 15 years also called on Governor Obiano, organisations and public spirited individuals to come to their aid adding that their source of income has been consumed by fire.
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