A market in Katsina State, Northwest Nigeria, Monday morning went up in flames as shop owners scampered for safety.
The incident was said to have occurred at the Central Market in the state capital at about 7 a.m. and raged on till around noon, with shop owners making frantic efforts to recover their goods.
The cause of the fire and the extent of the damage were still unknown as of press time.
Abbas Labaran, the chairman of the market, said firefighters were struggling to salvage the situation as access to the market had been made by swathes of shops built at the narrow entry point.
“We are devastated by the fire incident,” Labaran told journalists.
When HumAngle contacted the fire service headquarters, an official said their local personnel were on the ground to rescue the situation.
According to local media, Katsina Post, a combined team of Katsina State Fire Service, Federal Fire Service and the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) were seen battling to put out the fire.
Security agents were also at the scene to prevent looting by miscreants.
Reacting to the disaster, Aminu Masari, Governor of Katsina State who visited the market, said the level of destruction makes the fire disaster “one of the worst in the history of the state.”
Masari noted the disaster revealed an infrastructural deficiency in the market that needed to be addressed.
“We will address the needs of the market and see how the government can assist the victims,” the governor said,expressing his sympathies to the victims.
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