Monday, March 28, 2011


(14th City People Award)
It happened suddenly, everyone present never expected it, the 14th City People Awards ended abruptly yesterday, when the venue of the event, Balmoral Hall and Events Centre, Oregun, Lagos, went up in flames.
Five people were injured.
Prominent Nigerians, including Senator Florence Ita-Giwa; wife of the late business mogul, Mrs Abba Folawiyo; Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment Dr Muiz Banire and Erelu Abiola Dosunmu; among others, ran for safety when the fire emerged from the catering corner near the stage.
The event began on a bright note as guests shone in various local and foreign black attires.
Stand up comedians and musicians entertained the guests before the presentation of the awards.
Banire and Erelu Abiola were about presenting the award for Best Run Bank of the Year to Zenith Bank, when the fire began.
People rushed towards the exits and there was a stampede at the main exit.
Efforts by the waiters and some officials of City People magazine to put out the fire was unsuccessful.
By the time officials of Lagos State Fire Services arrived minutes later, the event centre had been completely razed.
An eye witness, Sam Adams, narrated how the fire started.
Adams said: "The cloth of a lady sitting near the caterer’s corner caught fire. Immediately, her friends helped her to put out the fire with a table cloth.
"They threw the table cloth away but the air blew it up and the upper part of the hall, which was made with canopies, caught fire.
"Then everybody started shouting Fire! Fire!! Fire!!!. I can’t believe that little thing led to this great disaster. It was a horrible experience." .
As at the time of filing this report, the publisher of City People magazine, Mr Seye Kehinde, could not be reached.
Truly, when will all these things come to an end??? (City People Award 2011)