Goods and property worth millions of naria have been destroyed by fire at Afor-Opi Market in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State.
A witness, Linus Eze, chairman of the Opi Traders Association, told journalists that the incident followed a petrol tanker explosion on Thursday evening.
He said the explosion destroyed five shops, goods and property worth millions of naira at Afor-Opi market around 7:00 p.m.
Mr Eze said the incident happened when the tanker driver tried to dodge pot-holes on the road but lost control, and the tanker fell, exploded and went up into flames.
He said: “Because of petrol spilling from the tanker, fire gutted some shops in the market as people started running helter-skelter shouting for help.
“Residents and passersby did their best to quench the fire, but it was not possible.”
The chairman said the Enugu State Fire Service’s prompt response saved more shops from being razed.
Addressing traders, Pius Ezeugwu, representing Nsukka East Constituency at the Enugu State House of Assembly, who was at the scene to see things for himself and assess the level of damage caused by the explosion, thanked God that no life was lost.
Mr Ezeugwu said the incident could have been prevented if the Afor-Opi road had been tarred, urging the Enugu State and Federal Governments to do something urgently to fix the bad road.
The lawmaker assured traders whose shops and goods were destroyed by fire that federal and state governments would rescue them.
Speaking, Chinyere Agam, one of those whose shops and goods were destroyed, said she is yet to recover from the shock of watching her shop destroyed by fire.
Cosmos Agbo, a community leader and former Nsukka Local Government Council vice-chairman, described the petrol explosion as unfortunate but thanked God that no life was lost.