The Kaduna State Police Command has blamed the explosion in the Ori-Akpata Area of Kaduna metropolis this morning on gas cylinders and vehicle batteries packed in the shop in which the blast occurred.
In an exclusive interview with the Times, spokesperson of the command, Aminu Lawan, a deputy superintendent of police, ruled out the possibility of any bomb attack but said investigations were still ongoing.
Mr Lawan also faulted media reports on the number of casualties, saying the force’s anti-bomb squad are conducting investigations at the venue and that the number of casualties could only be ascertained at the conclusion of the preliminary inquiry.
“What happened was not a bomb attack but just an explosion probably from a gas cylinder within the shop,” the police spokesperson said on the telephone. “Preliminaries studies show that the explosion occurred in just one shop but because it was so strong, it affected many other shops within the complex,” he said.
Asked if the police had made any arrest, Mr Lawan said investigation into the incident had just commenced and no arrest had been made so far.
However, some eyewitnesses insist that what happened was a bomb blast. Chinedu Nze, who has a shop directly behind the affected building, told the Times he saw two people on a motorcycle who threw the bomb.
“I saw two people on motorcycle who threw the explosive device before zooming off,” Mr Nze said. “Infact I survived the blast by a miracle”.
Another eyewitness, Mubarak Albishir collaborated Mr Nze’s report. He said he was at a nearby mechanic workshop to repair his car when the explosion occurred.
Mr Albishir said he was sure a bomb was thrown into one of the burnt shops by two people on a motorcycle.