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Monday, 28 January, 2002, 10:40 GMT
Eyewitness: Lagos blast
Blasts light up the Lagos sky
People were evacuated from the surrounding area
Television editor Ladi Akeredolu-Ale, who was at work about 800 metres from the army munitions dump in Lagos in Nigeria, describes what he saw when the explosions began

A fire, we're not certain yet as to how it started, reached the ammunitions dump in the Ikeja military cantonment which is situated just before Maryland suburb.

When the fire reached the munitions depot it set off a number of the explosives which were stored there.

There were huge booms, explosions, that was the way it started.


The blasts sent red fireballs into the sky.

Map of Nigeria

There were huge booms in terms of explosions and then there were subsequent tremors which followed the explosions.

There was a lot of rattling. A number of glass panes, from where I was standing, were shattered, both on cars and on nearby buildings.

Though I understand the damage in the immediate vicinity was much worse.

A lot of people would have been rendered homeless. A number of buildings had their roofs blown off.


The initial reaction was panic.

In the immediate aftermath of the explosions you had a whole lot of people - literally thousands of people on the roads.

If the impact was felt in my remote area (i.e. Abaranje, Ikotun) then I can imagine the magnitude of the damage that would have resulted from the accident.
Sobowale, Nigeria

Many people had to be evacuated from their houses.

Those who resided in the barracks in the military cantonment were ordered out.

Those in the immediate vicinity of the explosions, as far as a kilometre or so in either direction, were also forced to evacuate their buildings.

Many had little more than the clothes they had on.

A lot of people were running.

Later on by about 1030 local time (2330 GMT), when it looked like the bigger explosions had stopped, people began trooping back towards their residences.

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Ladi Akeredolu-Ale
"The initial reaction was panic"
The BBC's Dan Isaacs
"Dozens of huge blasts rocked the city"
See also:

28 Jan 02 | Africa
Lagos explosions leave 100 dead
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