The Director General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, says a total of 17 people sustained injuries, including a pregnant woman and a firefighter, at the Balogun market fire incident in Lagos.
Dr Oke-Osanyintolu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday night that 15 out of the 17 were treated at the scene and discharged, while the remaining two — a pregnant woman and a firefighter — were hospitalised.
He said that the pregnant woman’s injury was as a result of shock she experienced while the firefighter was injured from one of the collapsed building.
“A total of nine buildings were severely affected, four had already collapsed and being leveled to ground zero having failed integrity tests,” he said.
”The remaining five buildings also affected will be subjected to testing; those that fail will also be demolished.
”The bulk of the fire has been curtailed, while some pockets remain along with some residual sparks and the fire services continue in their efforts to fully extinguish the flames,” Oke-Osanyintolu said.
He, however, urged Lagos residents and traders to remain calm and assured them of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s commitment to the safety and security of all in the state.
Director General, Lagos State Safety Commission, (LASSC), Lanre Mojola, expressed disappointment over the fire outbreak which took place at the same Martins Street in 2020.
The last one on the street occurred in November 2019.
Mojola said that his team were at the market on January 19 to sensitise them to the need to ensure safety in the market to avoid fire outbreak.
He said that it was unfortunate that in spite of the awareness another disaster took place again, adding that the commission would increase its sensitisation until the traders comply with the vision and mission of Mr Sanwo-Olu on safety of lives and property.
Lagos police commissioner, Hakeem Odumosu, advised that the Safety Commission should be resistance during enforcement and avoid being sentimental.
“The information we gathered on the ground now is that it was just a generator that was being refuelled, the generator was not even on the first floor, if it had been on the ground floor, it would have been easier for them to curtail it.
”Coupled with the lackadaisical attitude of our people, it is when somebody is alive that he can make money, the routes where the emergency services ought to follow to get inside had been blocked with various goods and now it becomes difficult for them to move in,” Mr Odumosu said.
He added that the police would be on the ground until the evacuation was completed to ensure that there were no more casualties.