The Cross River Police Command has confirmed that nine people died in a fire outbreak that occurred at Linc Oil and Gas tank farm on Sunday morning.
Hafiz Inuwa, the State Commissioner of police, confirmed the figure.
Mr. Inuwa added 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.
It was reported that officials from the Cross River State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, were on ground to assess the extent of damage caused by the explosion.
Our correspondent who went around the depot, reports that the fire outbreak also affected the high-tension cable which connected the depot’s electricity transformer, while two vehicles and other important equipment were also burnt.
The depot manager refused to speak with journalists, saying that he was not authourised to speak at the moment.
But, a staff worker of the depot, who spoke with our correspondent under the condition of anonymity, said that the fire outbreak occurred when staff of the depot where discharging 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 members were discharging the old product from the tank with a view to bringing in the new one when the fire outbreak occurred,” he said.