By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Traders at the Bishop Okoye Street in popular Mile three market in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, are counting their losses after about 15 of their shops were gutted and the wares inside completely burnt in an inferno late Friday evening.
Some of the distraught traders were seen crying and complaining to nobody in particular about their loses when PM NEWS visited the market on Saturday morning.
The traders lamented that goods worth millions of naira were lost in the incident, though no life was lost to the inferno.
The source of the fire remained unknown as at the time of filing in this story.
An eyewitness who gave her name as Madam Ebere Onu, told our correspondent that significant among those who lost their goods to the inferno is a dealer on grains who had just offloaded three trucks of rice and beans into his shop before the fire incident.
She added that the trader lost all the good to the fire incident.
Another eyewitness, Nelson Tasie, a former Chairman of Goat meat Sellers Association in the market said though officials of the Rivers State Fire service responded to cries of the traders for help, they were unable to put out the fire because they ran out of water.
At the time of filing this report, no government official had visited the scene of fire incident.
Recall that the Fire Service had failed to put out a similar fire incident from an explosion on the night of Saturday, 23 January at Adros Gas Plant located off Airport road, Rumuodomaya, in Obio-Akpor local government council area.
The local government fire service with office less than two minutes drive from the gas plant were unavailable to put out the fire that claimed three lives of persons trapped inside the plant at the time of the explosion.
The Chairman of Obio/Akpor LGA, Solomon Abel Eke, had lamented that firemen from the council’s two fire service stations equipped with two firefighting trucks with one located about a minute drive to the gas plant, and another located inside Obio-Akpor International Market, less than two minutes to the scene of the fire incident, were not available to put out the inferno.