Massive fire rips through slum in Nigeria megacityThe Associated Press | January 09,2013AP PHOTO
The silhouettes of people can be seen trying to stop a massive fire in Ebute Metta, a neighborhood in Lagos, Nigeria, Tuesday. A massive fire ripped through this neighborhood of sawmills and slum housing Tuesday afternoon along the banks of the Lagos Lagoon.LAGOS, Nigeria — A massive fire tore through a waterfront slum in Nigeria’s megacity of Lagos on Tuesday, burning down dozens of shack workshops and homes.
When firefighters didn’t turn up, locals tried in vain to stop the blaze with buckets of water.
The fire hit along the dirty shoreline of the Lagos Lagoon, an area full of sawmills that process lumber floated into the city from hundreds of miles away. Massive piles of sawdust and loose shavings fill the area.
By Tuesday afternoon, a thick plume of smoke rose from the mills over the city’s long Third Mainland Bridge, which links the metropolis to its islands.
Hours later after the sunset, the fire still raged in the neighborhood. Silhouettes of residents could be seen, trying to toss water onto the massive flames, which stood stories high.
The rest of the neighborhood remained in the dark, with little points of lights from flashlights dancing across the blackness.
It was unclear if anyone was injured in the inferno. Officials with Lagos state emergency services could not be reached for comment into Thursday night. There were no firefighters, trucks or emergency equipment seen in the neighborhood, which can be difficult to reach and dangerous for outsiders.
Emergency services often lack equipment, manpower and competent staff in Nigeria, a nation of more than 160 million people whose economy is fueled largely by crude oil. Across Lagos, many areas lack water lines, meaning officials often let fires burn themselves out rather than call in water tankers that can take hours to reach the scene.
Tuesday’s blaze was the second major one in the city in recent weeks. On Dec. 26, a massive explosion ripped through a warehouse full of fireworks in a crowded neighborhood in Lagos Island, killing one person and injuring at least 15.
Fire remains a major threat in Nigeria, where many people store gasoline and diesel in their homes to run generators for electricity. As Tuesday’s fire burned, some drivers pulled over to take mobile phone images of the fire from the bridge. The only sirens heard came from convoys of police and soldiers roaring by guarding the nation’s business and political elite.MORE IN Wire NewsBEIRUT — Turkey and the United States have agreed on the outlines of a plan to rout the Islamic... Full StoryPYONGYANG, North Korea — North Korean officials warned the United States that another war on the... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.