Over 100 shops have gone up in flames, with goods worth millions burnt down, following the outbreak of an inferno in popular Marian market in Calabar, Cross River State Capital.
Naija News learnt that the fire, which started from a shop in the fruit section and spread to other shops, started around 8pm yesternight.
According to an eye witness, Ojah Ojah,“The fire started from one of the shops when electricity was supplied to the area. We saw a spark from one of the shops and before we realise, the fire had extended to other shops.
He said that the Fire services were called immediately, but they responded late.
He noted that It took the intervention of the Nigerian Navy fire truck to help quell the fire.
A victim, Eme Bassey, 54, lamented that her watermelon worth N300,000, including her shop were all destroyed in the inferno.
Bassey said, “Three days ago, I received a supply of watermelon worth over N500,000 from my distributor in Makurdi. I usually sell and make payment to him, but this fire outbreak has rendered me hopeless for now.
“I don’t even know where to start because my shop was burnt to ashes. This is too painful for me to bear under this harsh Covid-19 period.”
Director-General of Cross River State Emergency Management Agency, Princewill Ayim, who went for an on-the-spot assessment, sympathised with the affected traders.
“We are here to assess the extent of damage and to also document the affected traders with a view to ameliorating their situation, especially at this period of Covid-19 pandemic.
“The state government is very responsive to cases of emergencies like this, I can assure you that something will be done to assist the victims,” he said