An oil depot in the port area of the Nigerian city of
Lagos has been hit by a major explosion and fire.
The blast, which shook buildings in the Apapa area, happened
during a transfer of fuel, the National Emergency
Management Agency (Nema) said.
Firefighters have been at the scene and four people were
wounded in the blast, AFP news agency reports.
Many tankers dock at jetties in the port in Lagos to load and
unload petroleum products.
Willem Auret, who witnessed the blast from a ship on its way
to Snake Island in Apapa, said he saw a tanker barge catch
fire at about 11:00 local time (10:00 GMT).
“The fire started slowly and then expanded into chaos,
exploding more than once,” he told the BBC.
“After the initial explosion, which I caught on camera, there
was a secondary explosion,” he said.
It took about an hour and a half for the port authorities to
arrive on the scene, he said.
“First one tugboat arrived… then several others joined it in an
attempt to extinguish the fire. They seem to have the fire
under control now.”
Nema’s Akande Iyiola told the BBC that the oil depot at Tin
Can Island port where the explosion occurred was owned by
the petroleum company MRS Oil.
“I felt the explosion from where we are,” Charles Osagie, who
works at an import-and-export office in the district, told
Nigeria is one of the world’s biggest oil producers, but
imports refined petrol.
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