Xmas day tragedy: 200 shops razed by fire in Ibadan plank market.
By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.
No fewer than 200 shops were burnt yesterday at the Sango plank market along Alaro/ Sango axis area of Ibadan during a Christmas day inferno which resulted in loss of millions of naira worth of plank.
New Nigerian gathered that the fire started at about 3pm in one of the shops unnoticed and quickly spread into the other parts of the market.
Eye witness account said the Christmas holiday been observed by the traders contributed to the fast spreading of the inferno as there was no one to quickly raise alarm.
The arrival of men of the Oyo State Fire Service to the market at about 3.40pm could not save the situation as about 200 shops have been burnt to ashes while residents in the area were trying to prevent the fire from spreading to more shops.
The residents and some plank sellers that rushed to the market, on sensing that the fire service men were helpless, resolved to buying tankers of water to aid the fire service effort. As at about 8pm , the fire was still threatening other shops in the market.
It was a sad episode as the traders whose shops were burnt stormed the market weeping with some of them threatening to commit suicide having lost millions of naira in the inferno.
A trader identified simply as Adegoke, said “because today (Friday) is Christmas, I decided to observe the festival at home like many of our members. But a customer called me on my mobile telephone while I was at home. He said he urgently needed to buy some planks so I boarded a commercial motorcycle to the shop. After the transaction, I closed the shop and went back home. I was still on the way when I had the call that the shops had caught fire”.
Other items burnt during the inferno included several sawing machines and other logging equipment
As at the time of filing this report, the fire service and the traders are still keeping vigil around the area to prevent the fire from spreading further.