From Suleiman Idris, Lagos
A thick smoke from a spark from one of the electrical panel on the 5th floor of the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos yesterday caused confusion inside the terminal.
When our correspondent arrived the building at 12.noon, the smoke had permeated the building finding its way to the first floor of the building that serves as departure hall for travelling passengers.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) however said the incident was a minor smoke at the departure hall which happened at about 11:45am and caused panic among passengers, many running out of the terminal building.
Many had difficulties with breathing as the smell of smoke enveloped the hall when most out-bound travellers were arriving the airport to complete boarding formalities.
Our correspondent who was able to locate the source to an electrical panel on the 5th floor observed that fire fighters from FAAN fire department went round the floors to ascertain the immediate cause of the smoke.
A fire tender machine marked P6-03 and a water hydrant hilux vehicle with Lagos registration number FKJ 407 AS were parked outside the terminal while the firemen, numbering about 12 search the building from floor to floor.
The fire fighters later left the scene at 12; 40 pm having ensure the smoke has been finally put out.
A staff in one of the office on the floor that has FAAN electronics control, HOD credit control and the account office of NAMA at the terminal was heard asking her superior if they continue work as she claimed the incident caused panic among staff.
FAAN General Manager of Corporate Communication Mr. Yakubu Dati said the smoke was put out by a combined team of FAAN’s electrical engineers and fire officers.
He said “Preliminary investigation reveals that the incident was caused by a short circuit at the panel room which was quickly arrested by the engineers on duty.
The authority wishes to assure the travelling public and other airport users that there was no immediate danger to anyone as a result of the incident neither did it affect flight operations at the terminal.” He said in a statement.
Dati also disclosed that the agency has directed the Directorate of Engineering and Maintenance to commence immediate investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the said short-circuiting of the cables.