At least five persons were injured yesterday at the Port Harcourt Spar after a gas explosion rocked the massive shopping centre beside Rivers State Government House.
The incident caused pandemonium in the area as shoppers and business owners struggled to leave the mall, while the victims were rushed to the government-owned Braithwaith Memorial Hospital, for treatment.
The Manager of the Port Harcourt Shopping Mall, Mrs. Chioma Okorie, said explosion occurred in a kitchen of one of the shops in the facility.
She said that the fire-fighting equipment and officials of the mall helped in putting out the fire, and that the facility would be opened to the public today after the smoke would have cleared out.
The manager said that a few persons were injured as a result of the fire incident.
The representative of the Rivers State governor and Secretary to the State
Government (SSG), Dr. Tammy Danagogo, who inspected the fire incident, also assured members of the public that the mall would resume operations today.
Danagogo said that he was directed by Governor Nyeson Wike to assess the fire because of the importance of the facility.
The SSG, who was with the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Mr. Paulinus Nsirim, and the Permanent Secretary, Office of the SSG, Dr. George Nwaeke, expressed happiness that the management of the mall had been able to contain the fire.
He said that those injured in the incident would receive adequate medical treatment.
Danagogo asked the management of the mall to meet with the state government today at the State Secretariat to further discuss other aspects of the incident and possible areas of intervention by government.