Saturday, March 12, 2016 7:26 am
The Central Bank of Nigeria confirmed last night that two persons, a staff and a construction worker have died from the critical injuries sustained in the gas explosion that occurred at the Calabar, Cross River state office of the bank.
Isaac Okoroafor, acting corporate affairs director of the bank gave the uodate, while giving an insight into what happened at the bank.
“The fire, which broke out at about 12 noon in the banking hall of the premises, was apparently caused by a gas explosion from the air conditioners in the building which is
undergoing some refurbishment at the moment.
“As soon as the incident occurred, the CBN emergency alert system was activated, the Fire Service was called in, and the fire was immediately brought under control.
“Following the explosion and fire, about twenty five (25) persons sustained various levels of injury, and are currently receiving treatment at hospitals in Calabar. Four of the injured have been discharged.
“We are, however, very saddened to confirm that two of the critically injured, a CBN staff and a construction worker, have died at the hospital. We are now working with the bereaved families to determine next steps”, Okoroafor said.
The police had given a lower figure of 20 persons being injured, two of them in critical conditions.
The Commissioner of Police in Cross River, Mr Henry Fadairo said that the explosion, which caused panic in the state capital, was not a bomb blast as speculated.
“The team of experts handling the situation confirmed that 18 persons were injured while two others are in a critical situation.
“The explosion was caused by gas cylinders in the CBN. It is not a bomb blast as it is already being speculated in some corners.
“The police, the navy, the army, road safety marshalls and the civil defence were on ground to help the state fire service to bring the situation under control.
A witness, Mr Ndubuisi Okeke, said the explosion occurred as he was coming out of a bank which shared boundary with the CBN.
Okeke said that the huge explosion caused panic, saying: “I am afraid if that explosion did not claim the lives of CBN staff because it was too heavy.’’