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Lagos explosion and fire wrecks neighbourhood

02 January 2013

An explosion in a building storing fireworks has set off a major fire and killed at least one person in Lagos, Nigeria. More than 40 people are reported to have been injured. The incident took place in the Jankara market area of Lagos Island, a particularly densely populated part of the city, and the ensuing blaze spread to 15 other buildings.

The December 26 blast shook windows in homes miles away and a thick cloud of smoke could be seen over the city.

Emergency workers said they had problems getting past the crowds of onlookers, similar to a complaint they raised in June when a plane crashed into a residential area in another part of Lagos.

An official from the National Emergency Management Agency (Nema) told AFP news agency that a charred body had been pulled out of the building where the fireworks detonated.

Nigerians commonly shoot off fireworks and firecrackers to mark Christmas and the New Year. Local government officials tried to ban fireworks in 2012, but fireworks have still exploded across the country in recent days to mark the holiday season.

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