Over 200 shops were yesterday razed down by fire at the modern market in Makurdi metropolis of Benue state.
Daily Trust gathered that the fire started about 6:30pm on Tuesday at the middle section of the market shortly after the official closing of commercial activities of the day.
It was learnt that no lives was lost during the inferno which gutted two blocks of the markets consisting of at least 100 lock-up shops each but goods worth billions of Naira were completely destroyed.
A shoe dealer, who stood speechless watching the ruins of his wares, lamented that it was the second time his shop was being burnt at the modern market.
The shoe dealer, popularly known as Bato, could not speak but his wife worried that they do not know where to pick up the pieces of their lives from as her husband had just stock the shop the day before the incident.
Some of the traders who lost their shops to the fire wept uncontrollably.
Others who spoke said they were yet to come to terms with reality of the fire as they wondered what could have triggered it since the use of generator was ban in the market.
But, there were those who believed that inconsistent electrical outage could have caused the fire.
However, none of them identified where the incident started as they were also thankful that the Fire Service arrived to extinguish the flame before it engulfed the entire market.
A revenue collector at the market, Dangi Samuel, told our correspondent, that the cause of the fire could not be ascertained.
Samuel explained that he had barely closed for the day and was heading home when his attention was drawn to the fire incident on J3 and J4 lane of the market, stressing that each of the block consisted of at least over 80 shops.
As at the time our correspondent visited the market, crowd were still thronging the place to catch a glimpse of the tragedy while security agencies including, soldiers, police and civil defence were seen maintaining law and order in the area.