By Patrick Obia
Hundreds of stalls and dozens of shops have been razed in an inferno at the Ika Ika Oqua market in Calabar metropolis.
Popularly referred to as Marian market, it is located less than five meters away from the Calabar Municipal council secretariat and 3.8km from the U. J Esuene sports stadium.
As at press time, it remained unclear, what caused the fire which some eyewitnesses claim began at a few minutes past 9:00PM on Friday.
Early reports suggests a surge in electricity which led to a spark at a barber’s shop located near the axis fruit items are sold.
The Cross River state fire service is said to have arrived the scene about 90 minutes later after initial reports suggested they had no Automobile Gas Oil (AGO) popularly called diesel, to fuel their trucks.
Traders are expected to count their losses on Saturday morning with about squads of the Nigerian Army 13 brigade said to have prevented looting attempts.
As at press time, no casualties were confirmed.
More pictures below…
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