Fire guts popular market in Akwa Ibom
ISAAC JOB, UYO
Fire from an unknown source has burnt down some shops in Itam market destroying goods worth millions of naira The Trumpet gathered.
It was gathered that the fire outbreak in the market started on Wednesday morning though the cause of the inferno could not be ascertained. But when our correspondent visited the scene on Wednesday afternoon there were no electrical connections in the affected areas giving the impression that the fire was mysterious.
An eyewitness, Ikwo Ekpo, who arrived at the market in the morning stated that by 8 am said two lock-up shops were razed down with goods inside before the state fire service arrived. She said the fire outbreak would have escalated to the entire market but the youths of the area mobilized to break into some shops and evacuate goods before the fire was put off. One of the victims, Mr John, who deals in stationery materials, said he lost everything to the fire incident.
His words, “I left the market around 7 pm and by some minutes past nine, one of the security men called me that my shop has been burnt down. I rushed down to this place immediately. I was devastated when I saw everything in my shop burnt down.
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“Fire service people were here when I came but I couldn’t remove even a pin from the shop. Honestly, I don’t know where to start from.”
Heaps of burnt grains, tins of tomatoes, heaps of books and other metals were found at the scene of the incident. The Chairman, Board of Trustees, and Traders Forum Association, Elder Godwin Ebong, in an interview expressed dismay over the incident adding that the union has commenced an investigation into the matter. He said preliminary investigations have not revealed the cause of the inferno as no electrical wiring is connected in the shops.
“Till now, we cannot ascertain the cause of the fire outbreak, we have conducted our internal investigation and have not discovered the source, we are still hoping that few days from now, we will find out what happened,” he said.