By Gbenga Gbelee
The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hardi Sirika says the Federal Government is to probe the cause of the inferno, which engulfed the headquarters of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in Lagos on Tuesday.
Speaking through one of his aides, Salihu Adeyinka, on Wednesday, the Minister said there is going to be a high powered investigative panel which would be saddled with responsibility to unearth the immediate and remote causes of the ugly incident.
The fire, which on Tuesday razed the roofs of three office blocks at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos was put out by the combined efforts of Lagos Fire Service and FAAN’s fire service unit.
Though no mention has been made of the volume of documents and properties which up with the flames, reports from eye witnesses revealed that some colossal damages might have been suffered by the operational headquarter and administration division.
Spokesman of FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, said that senior officials of the Ministry of aviation were expected to visit the airport to assess the extent of damage, adding that the agency would be awaiting further action.
She particularly made it clear that the fire incident did not affect any flight operation and commended fire fighters who put the inferno under check in good time and prevented further havoc just as she announced that normal businesses which were initially disrupted had recommenced at the airport.
Officer in charge of the Airport Police command, Mr. Besan Gwana said his men had cordoned off the area until further notice.
The panic wave caused by the fire saw many passengers at the airport hurrying off to safety when fire bell, accompanied by explosions from the air conditioners were heard.
FAAN’s top management, led by its Managing Director, Mr. Saleh Dunoma, were reported to be occupied at the Abuja Airport where works on its runway is ongoing at the time of the fire outbreak in Lagos.