From Fred Itua, Abuja
An early morning inferno that engulfed Tipper Market, 3rd Avenue, Gwarinpa in Abuja, has claimed the lives of six persons, with several others sustaining various degree of injuries.
According to witnesses, the fire outbreak which was caused by a spark in one of the shops, started at about 12am on Thursday and lasted for about two hours before the FCT Fire Service came to the scene.
One of the witnesses told Daily Sun that firefighters didn’t arrive at the scene until 2am, two hours after the market was engulfed by fire.
The witness said the firefighters claimed that they were not informed on time.
It was learnt that hoodlums who took advantage of the crisis, vandalised shops, while failing to rescue those trapped in the inferno.
Firefighters were reportedly called after the hoodlums carried out their nefarious activities.
Five bodies were later evacuated to the morgue, while one was burnt to ashes and couldn’t be recovered. Others who sustained various degrees of injuries were rushed to the hospital.
Meanwhile, FCT Minister of State, Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has expressed worry over the frequent fire outbreaks in major markets across the territory.
The minister who visited the scene alongside the Managing Director of Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Gbenga Ashafa, the FCT Director of Fire Service, Sani Sa’idu, among other top management staff, also called for upgrade of the markets in line with global best practices.