Nigeria’s government agencies have begun to piece together what could have precipitated the big fire in the commercial capital of Lagos today.
One person died, while ten buildings and ten vehicles were gutted by the fire in Jankara Market, Idumota, Lagos on Wednesday, a fire one government official likened to ‘thunder ‘.
Mr. Sadiq Isa, who described himself as a coordinator at the state governor’s office, said that the explosion, which started the fire, was “like thunder.”
“We have not seen these kinds of firecrackers before. They are more of explosives and the government should embark on a mission to rid the society of such.
“Any building found containing these fire crackers will be sealed immediately and anyone found with them will be prosecuted,” he said.
The police bomb squad has taken samples of the explosives and for further examination, it was learnt.
A witness said the fire started at about 9 a.m and came from exploding fire crackers, popularly called “knockouts” or “bangers”, which were packed in a shop in Folawiyo House, located at 45, Ojo Giwa Street, Idumota.
The Leader of the community, Alhaji Olumegbon Isiaka, said that one of the sellers lit a firecracker, which accidentally flew into a shop and detonated the packs inside, leading to domino explosions. The fire quickly spread to other buildings in the area.
Isiaka confirmed the death of a 15-year-old boy in the fire, adding that as many as 40 people, who were injured, had been taken to the hospital.
Among the buildings affected were Martins House, Folami House, Akib House, Gunsemade Plaza, Fashola House, Modupe House and Okoya House.
Various government agencies and emergency outfits were on ground trying to contain the inferno which raged uncontrollably from one building to the other, while the firecrackers continued to explode.
The Federal Fire Service, the Police, the National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Red Cross and the Lagos State Transport Management Agency (LASTMA), were all at the scene of the fire.
Most of the shops in the area were securely locked, while some shop owners who came round, were seen trying to evacuate their wares, in spite of the restriction of movement placed on the zone by security officials.
Some of the buildings mostly affected by the fire had to be demolished, in order to stop the fire from further spreading.
Folawiyo and Modupe houses had been demolished as at 4 p.m,. while some others were in the process of being pulled down as the agencies continued to try to bring the inferno under control.
With reports by NAN