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Fire destroys Abakaliki rice mill

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Rice and machines worth over N50million were destroyed as Abakaliki Rice Mill in Ebonyi State was on Thursday night gutted by fire.

Daily Trust gathered that the immediate response of the state fire service stopped the fire from escalating to other buildings in the mill.

The chairman of Abakaliki Rice Mill Ltd, Joseph Ununu confirmed the incident on Friday, saying the fire started around 9:00pm.

“The leadership of the mill was holding a meeting when some persons rushed in to inform us that a section of the mill was on fire.

“We immediately contacted the Ebonyi State Fire Service that rushed to the place and put out the fire,” he said.

Ununu who described the incident as mysterious, noted that some valuables were salvaged as a result of the quick response of the fire fighters.

He explained that the fire which started from the back of the building was noticed by security men on duty who quickly alerted the authorities.

“When I visited the scene, I saw stone rice milling machines, bags of parboiled rice and the whole roof and interior of the building completely razed,” he added.

The owner of the milling shop located at 13 A Line, Mr Moses Oboh who was in a state of shock, urged the government to come to his aid.

“l don’t think I can bear the experience and trauma of losing more than N50 million at a blow, so I’m begging the government to come to my aid,” he said.

Because of the yuletide, there has been huge demand for rice as a 25kg bag of Abakaliki rice in the mill is sold between N5,500 and N6,000. DT

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