Cablegate: Nigeria: Airport Fire Temporarily Disrupts

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.



E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (U) An electrical fire at Lagos' Murtala Mohammed
International Airport temporarily disrupted flight
operations on Thursday, October 23. Several flights
were diverted or delayed, but skeletal operations
resumed within a few hours. Airport authorities report
that the terminal is still without power but say that
navigational aids are unaffected; most people expect
operations to return to normal later today.

2. (U) According to press reports and independent
sources, a fire broke out mid-morning in the basement
of the airport's international terminal, reportedly
after Nigeria's National Electric Power Authority
(NEPA) restored the airport's power supply (it had been
cut off several days earlier for non-payment of bills).
An unexpectedly powerful electrical current apparently
surged through the building's electrical panels when
airport authorities disconnected generators and
switched to NEPA-supplied power. Firemen extinguished
the fire within a few hours, but the building was left
without electricity.

3. (U) Six people were reported injured, but no AmCits
were among them. The Nigerian Minister of Aviation,
Isa Yuguda, ordered a nine-member committee to
investigate the cause of the fire and imposed a seven-
day deadline for submission of its findings.


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