Fire razes property worth N500m in Nnewi motorcycle factory
By Praise Necherem & Onyinye Ekwealor
Scores of workers at the multimillion factory of Louis Carter Industries Nigeria Limited in Akaboukwu, Uruagu Nnewi, Anambra state may likely lose their jobs following a midnight fire that gutted the factory last Saturday.
The firm, which produced motorcycle spare parts and allied products was said to have been gutted by the inferno, which started around 10pm.
Orient Daily gathered that the fire raged for six hours amidst interventions of the men of the fire service, who were said to have arrived one hour and thirty minutes late.
The general manager of the company, Mr Ndubisi Okoli, said he was alerted by the company’s security men who informed him that the fire’s intensity could not be put out with the factory’s fire extinguishers.
“I had to quickly dial the emergency number 112, which saw the arrival of the firefighters,” he said.
Okoli, however, attributed the cause of the inferno to the sudden explosion of the high tension cable of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC).
“The high tension cable exploded and sparked off fire to the section of the factory, which destroyed raw materials and crushing machines worth over N500million. Though no life was lost, yet, the building was completely razed,” Okoli lamented.
Also speaking, chairman, Chief Executive Officer of Louis Carter Group of Companies, Chief Louis Onwugbenu, regretted the huge loss the incident had caused the company with hundreds of workers in its employ, particularly the section that got burnt.
“Only God knows how much it will cost me to rebuild the factory. Worse still is the number of workers that had been thrown out of job as a result,” he decried.
He, however, commended the effort of chairman, Innoson Group, Chief Innocent Chukwuma, and member representing Nnewi North in the State House of Assembly, Hon Nonso Smart, who he said were physically present to motivate those who assisted in putting out the fire.
While appealing to Governor Willie Obiano for assistance, Onwugbenu said the reconstruction of the road leading to the company from the major highway would go a long way to lightening the burden occasioned by in the monumental loss.