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Fireworks blaze rips through central Lagos

Warehouse fire spreads to engulf nine buildings in Nigerian city, killing at least one person and injuring 30 others.
Last Modified: 27 Dec 2012 02:41

A huge fire has ripped through a fireworks warehouse in Nigeria, killing at least one person and injuring 30 others, according to officials.

The explosion on Wednesday rocked a packed commercial hub of Lagos with residents jumping from windows to flee. Others scrambled to salvage goods from their shops in the neighbourhood's large market.

At least nine buildings in the neighbourhood were engulfed in the blaze, according to the AFP news agency.

The incident occurred in Jankara among the oldest areas in the Lagos Island area.

A school across from the warehouse was badly damaged by the blast. Its windows were shattered and materials inside destroyed. Cars in the neighbourhood were also gutted.

The heavy smoke let out by the blazing inferno made it difficult for rescue workers and firefighters to approach the scene.

Fireworks continued to explode well after the fire took hold as huge crowds gathered in the area. Some came to watch and others to offer help.

Ibrahim Farinloye of the National Emergency Management Agency confirmed: "We pulled out a body from the building".

Red Cross worker Nicolas Adesile said: "We have treated up to 30 people so far."

Residents rushed to help firefighters, bringing containers of water and helping to carry hoses, but the volatile situation made it difficult.

Three tankers at the scene from the fire service soon ran out of water leading military personnel to be called in for help.

The blaze appeared to be gradually subside after more water was rushed to the site.

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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