The management of the National Arts Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, says the gas explosion which occurred at the theatre complex on Saturday night “is a minor setback which did not affect any part of the cultural edifice.”
The management, in a statement issued by Olubunmi Adebimpe, Press Secretary to the General Manager of the theatre, said that the fire occurred in a remote area annexed to the theatre.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Director of Public Affairs, Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service, Mr Amodu Shakiru, confirmed that the fire was caused by a gas cylinder explosion.
The management said: “Our attention was drawn to the above misleading headline first published on the X handle of Leadership Newspaper earlier today.
“We would like to state that the headline is misleading. Fire did not raze the National Theatre building that is currently being rehabilitated.
“The fire occurred at a remote area annexed to the National Theatre environment, formerly occupied by Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC), around a portion of land called the Artistes’ Village.
“The area is miles away from the National Theatre main building, currently under rehabilitation.
“We also like to state that even in the area it occurred, there was no structural and or human damage and none of our facilities are affected.
“The National Arts Theatre holds a special place in our hearts as a symbol of artistic expression, cultural heritage, and national pride.
“As custodian of this iconic institution, we are committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all visitors, staff, and artists.
“We commend our Emergency Response Team and especially, the Lagos State Fire Service for their immediate responses that put the situation under firm control.
“The management is currently working closely with the relevant government and law enforcement agencies to ascertain the actual cause of the fire in order to prevent its future occurrence.” (NAN)