Goods worth millions of naira were, on Friday night, April 29, 2016, destroyed as fire gutted the popular Ogbegonogo Market, the largest market in Asaba, the Delta State capital.
Our reporter witnessed traders were seen wailing as the inferno consumed sections of the market before the arrival of the State Fire Service officials in company of security agents.
The inferno started at the Umuaji line at about 7:00 pm and lasted for about two hours, destroying over 30 shops while wares valued at millions of naira were burnt to rubbles.
It was gathered that the fire started when the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) restored power to the area, when one of the cables sparked fire and spread to other parts of the markets.
The fire left behind tears on the faces of the traders as they wailed uncontrollably having lost their goods in the face of the challenging economic situations in the country.
Fire service fighters, who later arrived, were seen battling the inferno while men of the Nigerian police force were seen controlling traffic and ensuring that hoodlums do not take advantage of the situation to loot shops.
Shop owners, including pregnant women, were also seen running helter skelter to salvage their goods and shops from destroying while others stood helpless watching the fire ravaging the shops.
A shop owner, who simply identified himself as Emeka, told our correspondent that he just returned from Aba market where he spent close to a million to purchase goods to stock his shop.
Another shop owner, Mrs. Mary Ejiofor who deals on expensive clothing materials, told our correspondent,
“Where will I start from, now that schools have resumed and my husband just paid huge amount as rent”.
She said she has lost all that she stocked in her shop.
As at the time of filing this report on Friday night, traders were still counting their losses while men of the fire service and the police were still on ground battling to put the situation under control.