Police, emergency responders disagree over cause of Lagos market fire

Police, emergency responders disagree over cause of Lagos market fire

The fire that engulfed Cairo Market in Oshodi, Lagos, was not caused by explosives, Commissioner of Police Hakeem Odumosu has said.

Mr Odumosu, who visited the market on Friday accompanied by operatives of the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit, said “no element of explosive was recovered from the site,” Muyiwa Adejobi, the police spokesperson in the state, said in a statement.

“The CP has debunked the rumour that the Oshodi market inferno was caused by bombing or explosives. The public is hereby urged to disregard such news or rumour,” Mr Adejobi, a chief superintendent of police, said.

“The CP visited the scene today Friday in company of Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit(EOD) operatives to assess the scene and give their expert opinion. And no element of explosive was recovered from the scene. So no explosives used.”

Contradictory

The police’s comments contradict the claim by one of the first responders to the fire scene, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), who attributed the fire to explosives.

“Initial investigations suggest that some form of explosives/accelerants were used indicating some foul play,” said Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, the LASEMA director-general.

The LASEMA boss said the agency had informed relevant agencies, including the police to carry out further investigations on the fire incident.

Several traders interviewed by PREMIUM TIMES largely backed Mr Osanyintolu’s claim that the fire was caused by substances such as explosives.

The traders explained that the power supply is shut down at the market at 6 p.m. every day, so an electrical surge could not have been a cause.

Although only one lane of shops at the textile market was affected, traders said the market was set on fire.

Fire broke out at the Cairo market on Thursday night and razed 95 shops and offices and goods worth millions of naira.

Mr Adejobi said the case is being investigated by the police and experts.


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