1 Dead, 30 Hurt in Fireworks Explosion

Nigerian-factory blast sparks blaze in crowded market
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2012 5:02 PM CST

(Newser) – A fireworks factory exploded in the Nigerian city of Lagos today and sparked a fire that spread to at least nine other buildings, killing one and injuring 30, AFP reports. Crowds gathered to watch as people jumped from windows to save their lives and bystanders ran to fetch water. Shop owners tried to salvage items from stores in the crowded market area, but luckily many were already closed for a public holiday. Three fire-service tankers, operated partly by bystanders, ran out of water and received reinforcements later in the day.

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Eventually the fire began to die down, but the emergency operation was hampered by fireworks that continued to go off long after the initial blast, the BBC reports. "It's very dangerous for the firemen to go in, because the government don't want any of these men to be injured," said a government official. An emergency source said a fire probably caused the explosion, but it was loud enough to start a rumor that a plane had crashed. (Read more Nigeria stories.)

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