The Cross River State 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, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria at the scene of the event, confirmed the figure.
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.
Inuwa said: “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.”
NAN reports that officials from the Cross River State Emergency Management Agency were on ground to assess the extent of damages caused by the explosion.
A NAN correspondent who went round the depot, reports 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.
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 with NAN on the condition of anonymity, said the fire outbreak occurred when staff of the depot where discharging out the old products in the tanks to fill in the new consignment.
The staff said: “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 bring in the new one when the fire outbreak occurred.”