Lagos banger fire: Another Stockpile of unexploded firecrackers uncovered

Another stockpile of unexploded firecrackers was discovered on Friday at the Jankara Market in Isale Eko, Lagos.
Following the discovery, the building in which the firecrackers were kept, which is located on Okoya Street, was promptly sealed by the various security agencies keeping watch at the market.
About 10 buildings and 15 cars were razed on Wednesday when a warehouse containing a stockpile of firecrackers caught fire and exploded.

 “The warehouse containing the firecrackers, which exploded on Wednesday at Ojo Giwa Street, is owned by a Nigerian. He owns another store on Okoya Street. We discovered this on Thursday and notified the police. The building has been sealed.
“All the buildings which were razed down by the fire have been marked for demolition. That will be done as soon as we can get the faulty excavators working again,” an official of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps said. 

There was a reported on Wednesday that a 240ft container of firecrackers was offloaded at the warehouse, three days before the incident.
Meanwhile, some residents of Okoya Street and shop owners, who admitted the presence of a second stockpile of firecrackers, said they could not identify the warehouse.
 “Nobody knows the particular building where the second stockpile of firecrackers is kept. I learnt that the owner of the firecrackers travelled to Kwara State for the Christmas holidays and a message has been sent to him. He will return soon.

“I am aware that about 15 persons lost their lives in this fire. Some of the victims were little children. I live on Okoya Street and we were so lucky that neither our building nor my mother’s shop was affected by the fire,” a resident, Bunmi Lawani, said.
As at 11 am, firecrackers could still be heard popping off at intervals from the smoldering warehouse on Ojo Giwa Street.

While the excavators worked to clear the debris from the fire, officials of the NSCDC, the National Emergency Management Agency and a team of policemen struggled to keep back crowds of spectators from surging beyond barriers erected on the four affected streets.
On Okoya Street, some street urchins argued with NEMA officials who were determined to prevent them from looting shops affected by the fire. Curiously, the St Patrick’s Catholic Church, which is opposite a building that was completely razed, was virtually unaffected.

An Indian businessman named Anil Kumar lamented the loss of goods valued at N30m, which were stored in a building directly behind No 45 Ojo Giwa Street.
 “I rented two floors in that building where I stored blenders and all forms of electronic items before distributing them to other stores. When I was informed that the building was burning on Wednesday, I raced down here. By the time I got here, there was thick smoke everywhere. The entire building was in flames. I have tried  to enter the building, but the security personnel on ground won’t let me in,” he said.