An explosion occurred on Friday morning at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Calabar office at about 11.45 am setting the main edifice of the bank on fire effectively trapping many staff and visitors.
The inferno has left at least eighteen person badly roasted while others sustained third degree burns. The Assistant Inspector Genral of Police, A I G Zone six, Mr Baba Bolanta told newsmen that eighteen persons were casualty “but no death has been recorded” he added.
The CBN spokesman, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, who also confirmed the incident said that no death was recorded from the incident.
As at the time newsmen got there a team of mobile policemen and soldiers were already on ground being assisted by nurses and personnel of the Nigeria Security and civil defense Corps who were seen keeping guard over the place while officials of the Federal and State Fires Services were putting out the fire and rescuing those trapped in the building.
An Official of the Federal Fire Service who spoke to reporters said the source of the explosion is yet to be known but that it is speculated to be some locally made improvised device while some say it is the gas tank at the generator house that exploded.
He added that although he may not be able to give the exact number of persons dead at that moment but that many people were burnt beyond recognition while many sustained third degree burns; “rescue operation is going on to ensure everyone is brought out soon” he said.
Speaking on earlier speculations that the fire may have been caused by gas explosion, Mr.Okorafor said:
“There is a gas explosion from the construction area of our premises there. There is no fatality yet. A few persons who were injured have been taken to the hospital. The Fire service personnel responded promptly and they have been able to put out the fire.”