Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
About N500 million worth of goods were burnt to ashes when a trailer collided with a live electricity cable in Kebbi State.
Daily Sun learnt that many traders from Birnin -Kebbi have a joint warehouse in Jega, where they usually store different goods, sent to them from various parts of the country, before they transport them to the state capital.
It was gathered that the trailer was hired by 100 retailers from Birnin-Kebbi markets to transport their goods, which arrived from Sokoto, Kano, Ibadan, Kaduna and Lagos states for final distribution to their owners.
READ ALSO: South East leaders endorse Atiku/Obi ticket
When Daily Sun visited the scene of the incident yesterday, some of the goods burnt included motorcycles, textiles, electronics, tiles, dozens of fans, generator sets, Lister provisions, drums of engine oil, kegs of vegetable oil and other valuable items.
An eyewitness, Alhaji Adamu Tanko, said: “The trailer, loaded to capacity, cut down the live cable that crossed the high way and this resulted in power surge and ignited the fire.”
Tanko also said the driver and his assistant escaped death as the fire engulfed the whole truck.
He said quick response of the Kebbi State Fire Service saved some of the goods from total destruction.
One of the retailers, Alhaji Faruq Amidu, in an emotion-laden voice, told Daily Sun that about 100 different traders, who had received their goods from Lagos, Ibadan, Kano, Sokoto and Kaduna states, lost them to the fire incident.
He said: “The trailer carried about N800 million goods, but, from the receipts we gathered from our colleagues, we got N500 million goods bought by an individual traders.
“We’ve also set up a committee to ascertain the worth of all the goods lost in the incident, and, as I speak with you now, they are still receiving more receipts from the victims involved.
READ ALSO: 1,110 dead as cholera ravages 29 states
“We are pleading to the state government to come to the aid of the affected traders, to shield them from bankruptcy, because many of them collected loans to purchase the goods.”
The Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO) of Kebbi State Police Command, DSP Danjuma Possy, in a telephone interview with Daily Sun, confirmed the incident.
Possy, who said the incident happened at about 11:00a.m. at Jega, said: “It is true that the trailer had contact with a live cable across the road and went up in flame, but the driver was able to detach the trailer’s head, leaving the truck behind. So, all the goods in the truck were all burnt. But no life was lost in the incident,” he said.