A fire outbreak has killed at least 12 persons and injured dozens in Calabar,
The incident was said to have occurred on Sunday, July 16 at one of the tank farms located in the Calabar Free Trade Zone.
The Free Trade Zone, which is situated in Esuk-Utan community, is said to be host to several tank farms belonging to different companies.
The fire reportedly started around 4am on Sunday and affected tank farms around Dozy Oil depots in the free trade zone as well as other nearby facilities.
The high-tension cable and the transformer inside the depot, plus two vehicles and other facilities in the area were said to have been burnt to ashes.
The cause of the fire was not ascertained as at the time of filing this report.
It was, however, suspected that the fire could have been due to activities of criminal elements that were siphoning petrol from the tank farm.
"Over 10 persons have died in this disaster. There are several others in the hospital. The whole of this yard is owned by Dozy Oil, but they leased some of their facilities to other companies," Punch quoted an anonymous source as saying.
"All the tank farms are linked through pipelines. The question that is begging for an answer is why the operations manager of Linc Oil and Gas died in the inferno when his depot has no product? It means there was an illegal activity taking place at that time of the morning."
Confirming the incident, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hafiz Inuwa, said nine persons died in the fire.
Inuwa, who was on the ground to access the extent of the damage, told Southern City News that several other persons, who sustained varying degrees of injury, were being treated in one of the hospitals in Calabar.