It was made known that goods and cash worth over N250million wereThursday night destroyed in a mysterious fire outbreak that engulfed over 120 shops at the Otukpo main market, in Benue state.
It was gathered that the fire which started about 7.30 pm at the cosmetics and fish sections of the market, lasted into the night when all efforts to put out the mysterious inferno failed.
According to an eyewitness, the failure of men of the Fire Service to arrive the scene contributed in no small measure to the level of destruction at the market.
He said, “When some persons noticed smoke emitting from the shops, security men in the market were alerted and officers of the fire service in Makurdi were also called but before anybody knew what was happening, the fire had gone round the market.
“It took the efforts of youths in the town who mobilised themselves to put out the fire and also battled to rescue some goods and materials from the market.”
Reacting to the unfortunate incident on phone, the Market Master, Chief Obogo Alapa suspected that the inferno might have been caused by inflammable materials that were probably left in shops by traders adding that the disaster was being investigated.
The Caretaker Chairman of the Local Government Council, Dr Innocent Onuh who spoke to reporters while inspecting the level of destruction at the market, appealed to the state government to establish a fire service station in the town to check future occurrence.