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Policeman killed as burning building in Balogun market partially collapses

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The six-story building gutted by fire on Tuesday in Lagos Island has collapsed, killing a policeman at the scene. The late officer, Sergeant Michael Dominic is attached to Ebute Ero Police Station, Lagos Island.

The building located at No. 43, Martins Street, Lagos Island, collapsed around 9.pm on Tuesday as firemen continued to battle the inferno. A section of the burning building collapsed on the policeman, severely injuring him while trying to control the crowd. Confirming the death, LASEMA spokesman, Mr. Nosa Okunbor, described it as unfortunate. He said the portion that collapsed was weakened by the fire.

He also disclosed that the building presently poses a public danger and all the perimeters cordoned to avoid further fatality. Also speaking on death, Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Lagos Central Business District, Olanrewaju Elegushi said the policeman died in the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, visited Martins Street on the Lagos Island to sympathise with Balogun Market traders, following the inferno.

The Governor, however, said the fire incident brought out the need for total regeneration of Lagos Island to prevent incidents that could endanger the lives of residents. The move, Sanwo-Olu added, would include a meeting with owners of some abandoned high-rise buildings dotting the area for the possible use of the property.

Besides, he said the Government would be conducting integrity tests on all buildings in the Central Business District (CBD) on Lagos Island, adding that his administration would re-visit the regeneration master plan already designed by previous administrations. He urged all families that own property on Lagos Island to support the move.

Sanwo-Olu said: “This fire incident presents discussion for complete regeneration of Lagos. Here, we have a lot of buildings as old as a century. Now is the time to look into the master plan for the complete regeneration of the entire area. All families must support our move to start the regeneration.

“We also have abandoned high-rise buildings on the Island and we have done an audit of all these buildings. We need to have a conversation with the owners on how we can put the abandoned property to better use. There are a lot of traders who wish to take away their wares from the road and occupy these abandoned buildings. We need to talk to the owners and reach an agreement on a scheme that would make traders use the abandoned property.”


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