Goods worth ‘over N3bn’ destroyed as fire razes Aba market



Leather products, raw materials and machines worth over N3 billion were destroyed on Saturday night by fire in Aba, Abia state.


The fire outbreak affected over 30 shops at the mansion zone block of the powerline leather products industrial cluster.


Okechukwu Williams, president of the leather product manufacturers association in Abia, said the huge losses suffered by traders worsened by the harsh economic situation would have been lessened if a fire station were within quick reach.


Williams called on Alex Otti, governor of Abia, to establish a fire service outpost at the Ariaria international market to address emergencies.


Ugochukwu Nwachukwu, chairman of the affected block in the industrial cluster, told NAN on Sunday that more than 500 workers were working in the affected shops.


Nwanchukwu said the fire was put out after the Abia fire service arrived from Umuahia, the state capital, about an hour after the incident.


Cherechi Ndukwe, a victim, appealed for immediate help to the affected traders, noting that the incident has put their businesses, families, and employees in jeopardy.


 “We made frantic but unsuccessful efforts to douse the inferno with buckets of water before the arrival of the men of Abia fire service from Umuahia,” NAN quoted Ndukwe as saying.


“It will be very difficult to survive without the support of Abia and the federal government,” he added.


Goodluck Mmeri, another victim, said the situation was made worse by miscreants who capitalised on the incident to loot some materials and machines.



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