The fire which gutted the Engineering Close branch of the United Bank for Africa, UBA, in Victoria Island, Lagos state on Wednesday was caused by a diesel tanker, eyewitnesses told Newsbreak.ng.
An engineer who identified himself only as George and works at the high rise opposite the bank told our correspondent that the tanker, described as average-sized, erupted into flames around 12pm while discharging its content in the bank premises.
He said, “The tanker was in the bank premises and was waiting to offload its content into the generator when it suddenly burst into flames.
“The fire began at about 12pm while people were around the building.”
Another eyewitness, Segun Lawal, stated that a loud noise was heard after the tanker exploded and that the bank’s generator house was completely ablaze as a result of the fire.
According to him, “All of a sudden, there was a loud bang from the tanker which caused the fire. The generator house was completely razed as the fire was intense.”
Although no life was lost, the fire partially destroyed the building as well as properties in the premises.
A side of the ground and first floors were razed with its windows completely shattered, while a blue Toyota vehicle parked inside the premises had its windscreen completely destroyed.
The Fire Service officials, it was gathered, arrived at the scene about 35-40 minutes after the fire had begun. They were able to successfully put out the fire.
It was also learnt that the diesel was quickly emptied into the drainage, as the damage could have been more if it had spread around the generator house area.
Several persons were scooping diesel from the scene of the incident and the whole area was chaotic, despite the inherent dangers.
The opportunists were seen forcefully removing the metal on the drainages in front and opposite the bank to scoop diesel and loaded their loot on commercial tricycles, popularly known as Keke Marwa, with different types of jerry cans.
Our correspondent attempted to speak with officials of the bank to get more details but was denied entry by their security personnel as the bank was said to have closed for the day.
Kehinde Adebayo, spokesperson of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, was not available for comment as at the time of filing this report.
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