A fire suspectedto have been caused by an explosion has reportedly gutted the Central Bank ofNigeria, CBN office in Calabar, Cross River state.
Reports saidthat even though the fire has been put off, many people are feared dead whilethe injured are receiving treatment at an undisclosed medical facility.
Sources said the explosion is suspected tohave emanated from one of the gas cylinders in the building.
According to a source, the explosion occurredat about 12:50 pm today.
A resident named Gift Effiong said: “I heard aloud explosion coming from CBN axis, the road is now blocked and motorists havebeen diverted to another route.”
Anothersource told newsmen that the explosion was heard from within CBN and a firestarted afterwards.
It remains uncertain how many people have diedfrom the fire incident; however, there are speculations that about 10 peoplewere killed and over 30 injured in the incident.
Officialsare yet to give full details of the inferno, as rescue operations are stillongoing.
There were fire trucks in the premises of thebank and ambulances were coming in and out, conveying casualties.
Shatteredglasses filled the CBN premises, as parts of the main bank building weredamaged.
Furtherreports said that men of the Police, Army, Navy, Civil Defence and otherparamilitary organizations were drafted to the scene while relatives of staffcould be seen crying at the gate of the bank.
Despitetheir demanded to see their relatives working in the bank, officials of thebank refused to comment, stating that they are too traumatized to speak.
TheCommissioner of police, Henry Faidairo was on ground to inspect the scene.
Alsoavailable was the Acting Inspector General of police, Zone 6, Calabar,Baba-Adisa Bolanta who also inspected the scene saying the explosion wassuspected to be from gas within the central air-conditioning unit.
“This isjust an initial assessment, and it is not confirmed yet. It is when a finalresult has been given that we will confirm what really happened,” he said.