Fire Guts Onitsha Industrial Cluster

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By David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka


Barely two weeks after a tanker fell, igniting fire that razed a filling station and over 10 houses and 15 vehicles in Onitsha, another fire incident last Sunday evening razed Ekene Dili Chukwu Industrial Cluster, destroying machines, goods and raw materials worth over N2 billion.

Though no life was lost, over 10 people involved in rescue mission during the incident sustained various degrees of injuries, while assorted industrial machines, numbering over 50, belonging to the members of the cluster were burnt beyond repairs.

When THISDAY visited the area, victims and sympathisers were seen bemoaning their fate, with others crying over their losses.

Chairman of the cluster, Tony Ubakasi, who was also affected by the fire, said he could not give account of the cause of the fire, saying that he was only called on phone by somebody and before he arrived, the whole cluster was already up in flame.

He said the machines lost in the cluster to the fire incident included blowing machine, cutting machine, recycling machine, injection machine, extruder machine, dying machine and punching machine, Lister power generators and other generators numbering over 30, including others, adding that finished goods and raw materials were also gutted.

He expressed fears that over 200 workers and 50 indirect workers would lose their jobs because of the incident.

He called on the federal government, Anambra State Government and good spirited individuals to come to their aids.

Another victim, Mr. Hyacinth Ogugua, said he lost over N20 million in machines, goods and raw materials, and lamented that his family and all his dependants will be devastated by the incident.
Other members of the cluster, Mr. Jonas Ugwu, Mrs. Victoria John, lamented their losses, while calling on the government to come to their aid.