Stampede as fire guts Blue Rail Mass Transit project in Lagos

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BY TIMOTHY AGBOR

Uba Group

A section of the newly-inaugurated Blue Rail Mass Transit project at Marina, Lagos State, has been razed by fire.

The incident which occurred on Tuesday had caused people to take to their heels, causing a stampede.

It was gathered that many misconstrued the fire incident as an explosion and scampered for safety.

But reports said that the fire affected only the section that housed a generator used in the facility.

Also, no life was lost and no one was injured, as the fire was quickly put out by firefighters from both the federal and state fire stations before it could spread to other sections.

However, a statement on Tuesday by Kolawole Ojelabi, Consultant, Corporate Communication, Lagos Metropolitan Authority, said the fire was said to have been ignited by a petrol-powered generator deployed to pump diesel into the barge from a tanker parked by pier 27.

“Today, there was a fire incident involving an oil tanker trans loading diesel into a barge on the lagoon on the outer Marina under one of the piers for the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Blue Line at Marina.

“The fire was said to have been ignited by a petrol-powered generator deployed to pump diesel into the barge from a tanker parked by pier 27.

“The fire has since been put off by a combined team of firemen from the Lagos State Fire Service, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Fire Service, and the Federal Fire Service. The Police were also present to investigate the fire outbreak.

“The Police are currently working to ascertain the ownership of the fuel tanker and the barge.

“Preliminary test carried out by the contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), shows that the pier was not affected by the fire.

“The Lagos State Government and Lagos Metropolitan Authority (LAMATA) wish to assure Lagosians that the Blue Line infrastructure is safe and LAMATA will indeed continue with the testing phase of the operation of the trains and civil infrastructure, with a view to educating members of the public on how to interact with the rail system,” Ojelabi explained.