Chairman, Bwari Area Council, John Gabaya, is blaming the fatalities caused by the Friday fire incident at Kubwa Village Market area of Bwari on negligence by the traders selling their goods by the road side.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the fire incident led to the loss of no fewer than five lives and several properties.
Gabaya said the unfortunate incident could have been avoided because several efforts had been made to sensitise the market people on different occasions.
“We kept warning the people here on the dangers of selling their goods by the road side. Also, a task force committee usually spends a lot of money to come here daily to make sure people don’t sell by the road side, but the traders have been negligent and rude”, he said.
Gabaya revealed that no fewer than six dead bodies have been recovered from the scene of the incident, including others who were severely injured and are currently receiving treatment in the hospital.
While explaining that the likely cause of the fire incident was the explosion of a nearby fuel tanker, he, however, said that he could not attest to the allegation about the fuel being adulterated, adding, “according to reports, it was a kerosene tanker.
“We have served a notice to the people located here that as from Monday, we will ensure that nobody sells along this road corridor.”
The FCT Fire Service Acting Director, Sani Saidu, who spoke to NAN at the scene of the incident, noted that markets were expected to have designated areas for sale of different commodities.
Saidu added that combustible materials were not supposed to be sold at residential areas but rather inside the market.
Responding to the allegation that fire fighters did not respond on time, the Director explained if fire men had not responded on time, more buildings would have been affected with more casualties.
He also advised petrol and fuel operators to stop offloading their products when the weather is hot.
He added: “We came immediately we were called because we have a fire truck inside the Kubwa NYSC camp, which is close to the scene, and that helped to keep the casualty figure down.
“This is indeed an unfortunate incident, which could have been prevented because we have constantly sensitised operators on the dangers of discharging their fuel products when the weather is hot.”