According to a report by The PUNCH, the many residents of Industry and Harbour Road in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area of Rivers State are still in shock over an explosion that rocked the state-owned ailing ‘Flour Mill Company Limited’.
The explosion which occurred on Friday was said to have shaken both residential houses and business premises within and far away, causing panic, as some ran out of their houses to find out what had happened.
Though the cause of the explosion at the flour mill which has been non-functional for over a year could not be ascertained, eyewitnesses described the sound resulting from it as ‘very loud’, saying it immediately resulted in a huge fire.
One of the eyewitnesses told our correspondent that though the factory was not operational, some persons were offloading some unspecified products when he left the facility about the time the incident took place; even as firefighters responded to a distress call put across to them.
“I left the flour mills about ten minutes when I heard the explosion. I don’t know what caused it because we came back to the place but could not get in because it was dangerous,” he said.
The Flour Mills facility is surrounded by the Nigerian Ports Authority, Ports and Terminal Operators Limited, the Nigeria Customs Service and other business concerns.
Our correspondent also gathered that officials of the Nigerian Ports Authority and the Rivers State Fire Service who responded to a distress call had a hectic time trying to put out the fire which lasted for about two hours, though no life was lost.
When contacted, the Rivers State Commissioner for Special Duties, Thomas Bariere, confirmed the incident, saying no casualty was recorded.
“I can tell you on good authority that our men were on ground. They responded immediately and the fire was put out in good time. So there is no cause for alarm,” Bariere stated.