Victims of Friday’s fire incident at the Kubwa Village Market in the FCT have recounted their ordeals and urged the relevant authorities to assist them.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Friday’s fire gutted a section of the market, claimed some lives and left many injured.
Victims who spoke with NAN yesterday expressed grief.
A victim, Mr Obinna Fidelis, who lost two daughters and had his wife hospitalised said he suddenly heard a bang which came with fire.
He said no one really knew the cause of the fire as there was total blackout in the area when the accident occurred.
“There was no power supply, no cooking or frying around, but all we heard was an explosion. I lost two of my daughters, Chioma and Angel to the fire.
“My wife sells foodstuff around here and she is presently hospitalised at the National Hospital, Abuja with serious burns.
“The doctor told us nothing would happen to my wife, but that the injuries were too much; it’s all over her body,’’ he said.
Another victim, Queen Bulus, who sustained injuries, said she got burnt when an overhead electricity cable fell on her hand.
“I was sitting and selling plantain, then the wires sparked and suddenly one of the wires from the electricity poles cut and burnt me.
“All I could remember was that I ran away through the back to my house and left everything I was selling which later burnt to ashes.
“My mother took me to the hospital and I thank God I was attended to in good time,’’ she said.
Any eyewitness, Aliyu Ibrahim, said many people were burnt, but hospitals initially refused to attend to a survivor because no police officer accompanied the victim and his rescuers.
“The patient was taken to three different hospitals but was refused treatment initially,’’ he said.
Another eyewitness, Chukwudi Agu, commended the timely response of the Fire Services and security agencies in the area.
“The Fire Service really did well because if not for them, all the buildings here would have gone down as the level of fire here was intense.
“I really thank God they responded on time unlike in the past because I have never seen them perform that way; I give kudos to them,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, a family member of one of the hospitalised victims approached the Bwari Area Council Chairman, Mr John Gabaya, and requested for his intervention in the medical treatment of her young boy.
She complained that the Garki Hospital had placed the boy on admission and was requesting for N500,000 to begin treatment.
The chairman who was at the scene, ordered one of his aides to go with the woman to the hospital to take care of all that was needed to ensure the proper treatment of the child.
Mr John Gabaya, the chairman, Bwari Area Council, blamed the fatalities caused by the fire incident on negligence by the traders who sell goods by the road side.
Gabaya said the incident could have been avoided because several efforts had been made to sensitise the market people on different occasions.
“We kept warning the people here on the dangers of selling their goods by the road side.
“Also, a task force committee usually spends a lot of money to come here daily to make sure people don’t sell by the road side, but the traders have been negligent and rude,” he said.
Gabaya revealed that no fewer than six dead bodies have been recovered from the scene of the incident. (NAN)