The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) has suspected foul play in the Thursday night’s fire that razed Kairo Market in Oshodi.
Director General (DG) of LASEMA, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu said the suspicions were based on explosives recovered from the scene of incident.
Newsmen reports that inferno engulfed the market around 8pm on Thursday, burning 66 K-Clamp shops, 25 containarised shops and four administrative offices during which goods worth millions of naira wert also destroyed.
Giving updates on the incident, Oke-Osanyintolu said: “Joint responders have contained the fire. Initial investigations suggest that some form of explosives/ accelerants were used; indicating some foul play.
“Relevant authorities including the Nigeria Police have been alerted to carry out further investigations.”
In a further update issued Friday morning, the LASEMA boss said rescuers encountered some security challenges during the operation, adding that their efforts were sabotaged.
“Members of the public sabotaged our efforts by cutting our hoses in the middle to save their individual shops which affected the overall efforts of our personnel and damage to our equipment.
“Some members of our team were attacked with several sustaining injuries that required medical attention. It is of note that in the course of attempting to discharge their duties, first responders are being attacked.
“The agency intends to engage with the market authorities for sensitisation on fire prevention and modalities of cooperation in such incidents. The agency frowns at the assault and mistreatment of its personnel and will be carrying out an investigation.”
However, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu seems to have a different opinion as he advised the residents to desist from making inflammatory statements that are capable of setting the country on fire.
Odumosu during an on-the-spot assessment on Friday, said the Explosive Ordnance Department, EOD, of the State Police Command has not discovered any bomb at the scene of the incident, as being peddled and therefore, the fire could not have been caused by a bomb explosion.
“We have seen what happened and we give God the glory no lives were lost. No matter the values of things that were lost, it cannot be compared with lives. We also thank God that the portion that got burnt is not more than the area not burnt.
“Since it started, I have deployed my men and they have been on ground. My coming is to have a physical assessment of what happened. We are to ensure there is no breakdown of law and order here.
“The rumour going round that it was a bomb should be dismissed. The tension is already high in the country and we should not make inflammatory statements.
“That’s why I am here with my technical team, the bomb experts in the police and they have gone round and no proof the fire was caused by a bomb.
“It has been ruled out that there was a bomb explosion here. No bomb was found here. So people should allow the fire service and the police to conduct their investigation and when the report from their laboratory comes out, we will make a statement,” Odumosu said.
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