NIGERIA – Fire gutted the factory of Mega Plastic, Ilupeju, Lagos, destroying properties worth millions of naira and leaving people with varying degrees of injuries.

According to emergency responders, the fire started in the company’s Engineer’s office. Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) added that the engineer was not on the ground when the inferno started before it escalated to the factory and its warehouse.

While the cause of the industrial fire could not be immediately ascertained, the agency disclosed that preliminary investigations revealed that the storage and factory sections of the company were seriously affected by the fire outbreak.

The statement also revealed that no injuries or deaths have been reported as of the time of this report.

However, Margaret Adeseye, the Director of the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service (LSFRS), stated that the state government may impose sanctions on Mega Plastic for failing to install a water hydrant within its factory.

Speaking at the scene of the incident, Adeseye said: “We had challenges while attempting to access the scene of the incident due to a locked gate.” However, we immediately began firefighting as soon as we arrived.

“We were able to prevent the fire from spreading to the adjacent buildings, as well as the company’s machinery and storage areas.”

She added: “We are yet to know the cause of the fire, but the information we got was that chemicals were stored in the area where the fire emanated from. However, we are still investigating.”

Commenting on the absence of water hydrant around the scene, she said: “We noticed that there was no water hydrant and we have been telling organizations on the importance of having water hydrant within their premises.”

The tragedy comes at a time when Lagos is battling plastic pollution amid US$2 billion recycling industry.

Lagos State, the beating heart of Africa’s most populous country, has endured a difficult battle with plastic pollution over the years.

Although the state government has made several attempts to address this challenge, the menace has persisted.

Being a megacity with approximately 22 million inhabitants, Lagos State is said to generate 870,000 tonnes of plastic waste annually, and there have been several campaigns by the state government, particularly through the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, to combat the menace of plastic pollution and convert it to an economically viable opportunity.

But this environmental threat has simply refused to go away. Many parts of the country’s economic hub are littered with rubbish.

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