Posted by News Express | 2 April 2015 | 4,163 times
For the second time in five months, a major fire outbreak has occurred at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, (MMIA), Lagos causing massive panic to air travellers.
The fire incident, which started at few minutes to 2.00p.m yesterday, our correspondent learnt emanated from the ceiling of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA), situated within the terminal.
But, the spokesman for NDLEA, Mr. Mitchell Ofoyeju, in a telephone interview with our correspondent, denied that the fire incident emanated from the agency’s office at the terminal.
He, however, confirmed that the inferno affected parts of its office within the terminal, but said none of its documents or other working materials was destroyed.
“The fire did not originate from our office, but it is just that it affected a part of our office. We don’t have any major thing in that office; it is just a working office where we take people to for examination and others.
“There are no drugs or files in that office and I can confirm to you that none of our items is affected. I learnt the fire started as a result of cables from the ceilings,” he said.
Also, the General Manager, Corporate Communications, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN), Mr. Yakubu Dati, in a press statement, described the fire incident as minor.
A source close to FAAN, told our correspondent that the fire outbreak was allegedly caused by one of the cables inside the ceiling of the NDLEA. It started from the E-Wing of the terminal.
No fewer than five fire service trucks from the Lagos State Government and FAAN were on hand to put out the fire.
Our correspondent, who was at the terminal, observed that all the staff of offices located in all the floors from the ground arrival hall, the departure hall and the first to third floors scampered for safety and moved outside their offices, while some were seen outside.
Besides, due to the closeness of the NDLEA office to the airside, the firemen could not put off the inferno through the frontage of the terminal and had to drive straight to the airside to combat the raging fire.
Another source attributed the incident to recent wielding activities that took place within the terminal during the time of Princess Stella Oduah as the Minister of Aviation without the supervision of FAAN technical staff.
The source said that the fire outbreak started mildly, but later increased at an alarming rate when it could not be contained early.
“You can see that we have been having series of fire incidents at the terminal in recent time. I can tell you authoritatively that these fire incidents occurred because of some jobs carried out at the terminal by some contractors given some remodelling to carry out without the supervision of FAAN technical staff and anyone of them that tried to ask questions then were threatened with sack or redeployment.
“The fire incident primarily affected most floors of the terminal and it started from the ceiling of NDLEA office at the terminal,” the source stated.
Dati in his statement confirmed that the fire started at the “E” arrival wing at about 1.13p.m, adding that the smoke was quickly traced to some offices at the ‘E’ wing on the ground floor by a combined team of FAAN’s electrical engineers and fire officers.
“Investigations have commenced to ascertain the cause of the fire. The authority wishes to assure the travelling public and other airport users that there was no immediate danger to anyone as a result of the incident, neither did it affect flight operations at the terminal,” he added
It would be recalled that about five months ago, a similar fire incident erupted from the terminal and caused serious disruption to work and activities at the airport.
•Adapted from National Mirror. Photo shows MMIA burnt building.
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