7 December 2011, Sweetcrude, Kaduna – An explosion killed an unclear number of people and caused panic in the northern city of Kaduna on Wednesday, residents and police said, but initial indications showed it was accidental.
“Initially, we thought it was a bomb blast, but our preliminary assessment has shown that it was an accidental explosion from a repair shop dealing in car batteries and gas cylinders,” police spokesman Aminu Lawan said.
“The explosion has led to some deaths and injuries.”
A spokesman for the national emergency management agency said the scene was littered with mangled body parts that were being collected by rescue workers, but he could give no estimate on the number of dead.
Residents reported that the blast occurred in an area of the city mainly populated by Christian Igbos.
“There was an explosion from a gas cylinder in one of the spare parts shops in the area and rumours went round the city that there was a bomb attack in the area,” Abdullahi Ibrahim, an iron vender, said by phone.
“Because the area is largely populated by Christian Igbo traders dealing in spare parts and refrigerators, people thought the explosion was targeted at them. There was panic in some parts of the city …”
Another resident gave a similar account.
The north has also been hit in recent months by scores of bomb blasts and shootings blamed on the Islamist sect known as Boko Haram.
This report was culled from AFP.