At least one person is dead and dozens are injured after a fire that started in a fireworks warehouse swept through a crowded marketplace in Lagos, Nigeria, today.
Because firefighters had trouble accessing water, the blaze burned for five hours after the explosion, Voice of America reported.
Rescuers removed one body, badly burned, from the rubble.
Nine or ten buildings caught fire after the explosion, witnesses said.
“They’re having a difficult time trying to put out the fire,” Nicholas Ibekwe told VOA.
“It’s quite a chaotic scene here, they’re having a problem controlling the crowd of people who have come out of their houses to come and look.”
The warehouse wasn’t permitted to store fireworks, CNN reported.
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The fire gave rescue crews difficulty because it sparked a stampede and then spread quickly through the crowded, poorly constructed buildings.
Many of those trying to help extinguish the flames needed help from doctors, according to AFP.
“We have treated up to 30 people so far,” Nicolas Adesile of the Red Cross told the news agency.
The blast shook buildings and rattled windows with such force that many residents mistook it for a bomb or other disaster, the BBC said.
Igniting fireworks is a popular holiday tradition in Nigeria, according to BBC.