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One confirmed dead in Lagos fireworks explosion

By The Citizen
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One person has been confirmed dead at the site of fire cracker explosion in Lagos as a number of buildings are now set ablaze as a result of the explosion.

The body of  11-year-old boy who was killed in the accident has been recovered.

About 15 houses were on fire after a huge explosion went off at the Oroyiyin\Jankara axis on Lagos Island, Lagos state, Nigeria's south-west region.

The Lagos State Government dispelled rumours of terrorist attack on the state.

It was gathered that trouble started when a lock-up shop under one of the three buildings stocked with fireworks, popularly called 'bangers,' suddenly exploded and went up in flames. As a result of the explosion, the building and two others adjoining it collapsed.

Residents of the three buildings, who were still celebrating the Christmas festivity, were still in their beds when the explosions occurred. Scores of other residents were feared to be trapped in the debris of the collapsed buildings.

Jankara market is located in the heart of the densely populated Lagos Island market where massive structures of three to four storey buildings are built itches away from each other.

Fire crackers popularly known as bangers are major features of celebrations during Christmas and New Year across Nigeria.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) confirmed the explosion.

NEMA spokesman, Yushau  A. Shuaib, explained that the explosion occurred from a building suspected to be a loaded with fireworks usually used during festive periods  and a warehouse for storage of electrical items.

'Although the search and rescue officers had a hectic time to reach the densely populated area due to heavy traffic and crowds, other response agencies and volunteers mobilised were able to control the fire incidence in area with support from residents,' he said.

He however could not give the casualty casuality figures saying they were yet to be determined.

He said that some residents who were injured while helping to extinguish the fire had been taken to hospital for treatment.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Governor Mr. Babatunde Fashola moved swiftly to dispel the rumour that the explosion was a bomb blast.

He assured all residents of the state of their safety as they go about their normal businesses during the festive season.

He spoke through his Special Adviser on Media Mr. Hakeem Bello..

'There was a need to correct the impression created this morning by speculations that an explosion heard was as a result of a bomb planted in the Lagos Island neighbourhood,' the governor said.

He said the prompt response by his men and those of the Lagos State Fire Service helped to minimize the danger and rescue occupants.