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Preventable Onitsha Fire: Death and Destruction

On Wednesday October 16, 2019 a fire ravaged a market in Onitsha, Anambra, causing many people to lose their lives and livlihoods. The fire occured when a petrol tanker hit some buildings, spilling its contents and sparking a fire. The exact number of casualties still remain uncelar.

The fire apparently raged for hours before attempts were made by the Federal Fire Service to extinguish it. It has been said that firemen at Asaba, Delta State, headed to the market shortly after the fire was reported but were caught in heavy traffic at the Niger Bridge. It has been alleged that the firemen were also attacked with stones and stopped from accessing the scene by an agry mob. 

Many graphic images of the destruction caused by the preventable fire have since been circulated, 

The Controller General has stated stated that  “With the procurement of new state-of-the-art firefighting trucks distributed to the 12 zones of the service across the nation, the FFS is always ready to respond to fire outbreaks and other emergencies across the nation."

He also added: “It is worthy to note that similar situations in recent past in Sokoto, Uyo, Minna, Ibadan, Osun and Lagos were prevented from escalating to a major disaster by the fire service.”

He said the support and cooperation of Nigerians were needed by the FFS in saving lives and property during fire outbreaks.

 

It has also been speculated that this fire was no accident. Thoughts?

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