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Fire razes truck, N500m goods in Kebbi



At least goods worth N500 million were yesterday destroyed as fire burnt down a trailer conveying the items.

A witness said the incident occurred when the trailer carrying goods from Jega town to Birinin-Kebbi, the Kebbi State capital, caught fire.

“The trailer, which caught fire, was chartered by some customers from Kebbi State to carry the goods from Birnin-Kebbi markets, which arrived from Sokoto, Kano, Oyo, Kaduna and Lagos states, for distribution to their owners,” the witness said.

Our correspondent, who visited the scene of the incident, observed that the affected goods are motorcycles, textiles, electronics, tiles, fans, generators, provisions, drums of engine oil, kegs of vegetable oil, and other valuables worth N500 million. Two people escaped death in the accident.

Another witness, Alhaji Adamu Tanko, said the trailer cut down an electric cable that crosses the highway which ignited the fire that burnt the truck and the goods.

Tanko also said that the driver and his assistant escaped death as the fire engulfed the whole truck.

He disclosed that they had to call men of the state Fire Service. According to him, the fire fighters’ prompt response saved a few of the goods.

One of the owners of the goods, Alhaji Faruq Hamidu, said about 100 different traders, got the goods from Lagos, Ibadan, Kano, Sokoto and Kaduna.

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 trader. We have also set up a committee to ascertain the worth of all the goods lost in the incident. As I am speaking with you now, they are still receiving more receipts from the victims involved.”

Hamidu pleaded with the state government to come to the aid of the affected traders to shield them from bankruptcy.

He added that many of them collected loans to purchase the goods.

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Danjuma Possi, confirmed the incident in a telephone interview.

Possi said that no life was lost in the incident, which occurred about 11a.m.

He said: “It was true that the trailer had a contact with a live cable across the road. The trailer caught fire. The driver was able to detach the head, leaving the trunk behind. All the goods in the truck were all burnt. But no life was lost in the incident.”

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