Another Fire Engulfs Lagos International Airport

Barely four days after a fire ravaged the D-wing of Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos, another fire at the same airport broke out on Sunday evening.

The fire outbreak, which affected the Skye Bank office at the airport, also affected some other tenants at the terminal.

It took the quick intervention of the firefighting agents of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to put the raging fire under control.

A source close to the engineering department of the FAAN told our correspondent that some of the recently fitted cables might have been responsible for the fire outbreak.

At the time of publication, the entire arrival hall of the terminal was in total darkness while flight operations were temporarily halted.

Our correspondent who was at the terminal observed that all the staff of the offices located in the arrival hall scampered for safety and moved outside their offices while some were seen outside the terminal immediately after noticing a spark from one of the cables.

The FAAN source who spoke to our correspondent specifically blamed former Minister of Aviation Stella Oduah for the recent fire outbreaks at the terminal.

The source noted that most of the cables recently fitted at the terminal were household materials and not fitted for the terminal and the equipment they are expected to carry.

He also queried the contractor responsible for the cable fitting, noting that the contracting company was underqualified for the job.

“The recent renovation and extension of the Lagos Airport terminal was a good thing, but it is unfortunate that shoddy jobs were done in terms of materials for the building and even the cables. Rather than factory cables, household cables and materials were used for wiring without putting into consideration the amount of equipment the cables will power," the source explained.

“Before, the situation was not as bad as this, but in the past two years, the situation has degenerated from bad to worse. I just hope the entire airport will not be consumed by fire one day.

“And if this happens, nobody should attribute it to a Boko Haram attack. We caused it ourselves because there have been consistent sparks in the past few months. So, we should let the entire world know that things are not the same in this airport.”

It will be recalled that last week, the entire terminal of the airport was thrown into total darkness for 48 hours due to sparks in cables.

Flight operations in and out of the terminal were crippled for the entire duration of the blackout, while airlines profiled and processed outbound passengers with torchlights. The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and other security agencies attached to the airport had to resort to manual processes for passengers, as the automation system at the airport collapsed completely.

The former aviation minister, Ms. Oduah, had commenced the renovation exercise of the terminal in 2013, which led to the extension of the airport. But the public has questioned the quality of jobs done, arguing that the aviation ministry's N74 billion debt is inexcusable given the poor state of the country's airports.

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