…Market Chairman says about 100 shops collapsed during the explosion
Cash and wares estimated at about N5billion were reportedly lost during the recent chemical explosion at the drug section of the Bridgehead market, Onitsha, Anambra State.
No fewer than 100 shops were said to have collapsed as a result of the inferno that claimed about seven lives, while about 20 sustained varying degrees of injury.
Addressing newsmen shortly after counting losses incurred following the explosion, Chairman of the market, Chinedu Ezekwike said the cash lost was much as some traders kept their money inside their shops.
He said, “We have about 100 shops that collapsed during the explosion and raw cash because some traders kept their money in the safes in their shops.
“On the whole, we lost cash and goods worth about #5 billion because there are so many millionaires in the market. Some deal in expensive goods that one cannot just easily quantify what they may have lost.
“Some of the victims are still in the hospitals and we visited them at New Hope, White Chapel, Delta hospitals and Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, Delta State.
“We urge the government, spirited individuals and groups, including polititcians to come to the victims’ rescue as the harm done to them and the market is beyond our capacity.
“Some who have visited pledged to assist, especially politicians and we urge them to fulfill their pledges as the victims are still begging for help. We need every form of assistance to bounce back.”
Recall that the market was shut for seven consecutive days immediately after the explosion in sympathy for the victims as well as allow for fumigation of the market against chemical hazards to the environment and the traders.