Panic as blast in Benin destroys houses

A building damaged by a blast in Benin City, Edo State…yesterday.
A building damaged by a blast in Benin City, Edo State…yesterday.
THERE was pandemonium in Benin City yesterday as not less than five houses were affected by a suspected bomb blast along Zomi Zomi Street in Upper Sokponba road by Three House Junction.
According to an eyewitness, the blast created tension as people in the area scampered to safety, fearing the presence of Boko Haram.‎
A police source at the scene said: “We learnt that the bungalow where the blast occurred was being used as a hideout for kidnappers some months ago. But a combined unit of soldiers and the police invaded the house and arrested the suspects.
“So recently, somebody hired the building and just this afternoon, decided to burn some papers in the compound. He set the papers on fire and went out to buy something. But immediately he left the bomb exploded. He never knew that the kidnappers left some bombs in the house.”
As at the time of this report yesterday evening,‎ bomb disposal experts from the Edo State police Command have cordoned off the building trying to ascertain if more of the explosives were still inside.

The tenant who resides in the building, who was identified as Emeka, was taken away by the police while one woman who was said to have sustained a deep cut during the blast was rushed to the hospital.
A 70-year-old woman, Mrs. Hannah Francis, who claimed to be living directly oppose the scene of the explosion said she heard a deafening sound and had come out to find out what happened but discovered a thick dark smoke from the building. The blast shattered louvres, PVC ceilings, doors, alluminium roofs of the building, two bore hole rubber tanks opposite area as well as the part of the front perimeter fence were.

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