The Cross River Police Command has confirmed that nine people died in a fire outbreak that occurred at Linc Oil and Gas tank farm in Calabar on Sunday morning.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Hafiz Inuwa, confirmed the figure, while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
The commissioner also said that several other persons, who sustained injuries, were currently being treated in one of the hospitals in Calabar.
According to him, the manager of the depot is yet to brief the police on what led to the explosion.
“Up until now, nobody has come out to tell us that this is what caused the fire outbreak.
“We have gone round, we have done what we can do but investigation will later reveal what actually led to the explosion.
“For now, nine people are confirmed dead and many others who sustained different burns are currently receiving treatment in one of the hospitals around town’’, he said.
Officials from the Cross State Emergency Management Agency were on ground to assess the extent of damages caused by the explosion.
It was gathered that the fire outbreak also affected the high tension cable which connected depot’s electricity transformer, while two vehicles and other important equipment were also burnt to ashes.
It was also learnt that the depot Manager refused to speak with newsmen, saying that he was not authorised to speak at the moment.
But, a staff of the depot, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the fire outbreak occurred when staff of the depot were discharging out the old products in the tanks to fill in the new consignment.
“As we speak right now, the vessel that brought in our new product is just by the port here. Some of our staff were discharging the old product from the tank with a view to bringing in the new one when the fire outbreak occurred,” he said.