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December 26, 2012

Nigeria Warehouse Explosion Sparks Fire

by VOA News

At least one person is dead after a powerful explosion at a fireworks warehouse in the Nigerian city of Lagos.

The blast Wednesday destroyed the warehouse and sparked a fire that damaged several other buildings.

A reporter in Lagos, Nicholas Ibekwe, told VOA that authorities had trouble getting the blaze and the situation under control.

"The fire region has counted about 10 buildings in fire," he said.  "They’re having a difficult time trying to put out the fire.  It’s quite a chaotic scene here, they’re having a problem controlling the crowd of people who have come out of their houses to come and look."

Ibekwe said firetrucks were unable to get water at the scene and had to go 10 kilometers away to fill up their tanks.  The fire was still burning more than five hours after the explosion.

Video footage from the scene

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Officials have confirmed the death of one person, who was described as burned beyond recognition.  They say 40 others were treated for various degrees of burns, fractures and bruises.

Nigeria's emergency management agency says the warehouse was loaded with so-called 'knockout' fireworks.

It says security agencies will investigate what caused the blast and the fire that followed.

Photo Gallery

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