At least 6 persons were injured during a gas explosion that rocked Port Harcourt Mall late Wednesday evening.
One person was reportedly burnt beyond recognition. However, it could not ascertain if the victim survived.
An eye witness told newsmen that the explosion occurred at Spice Route Restaurant on the first floor, adding that the smoke from the explosion initially made evacuation impossible.
The explosion forced shoppers at the mall to run for safety and a crowd of shoppers soon converged at the entrance to the mall.
He said that the injured have been evacuated to the hospital.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government has assured members of the public that the Port Harcourt Shopping Mall will resume operations on Thursday as the minor fire incident in the facility has been contained.
A representative of the Rivers State Governor and Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Dr Tammy Danagogo gave the assurance on Wednesday evening after inspecting the facility alongside the Management of the Mall.
The Representative of Governor Wike said that he was directed by the Governor to conduct on the spot assessment because of the importance of the facility.
He expressed happiness that the management of the mall has been able to contain the fire. He said that those injured in the incident will receive adequate medical treatment.
He asked the management of the Port Harcourt Shopping Mall to meet with the State Government on Thursday at the State Secretariat to further discuss other aspects of the incident and possible areas of intervention by the State Government.
The Representative of the Rivers State Governor was accompanied on the inspection visit by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information, Mr Paulinus Nsirim and the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Secretary to the State Government, Dr George Nwaeke.
In her remarks, Mrs Chioma Okorie, Manager of Port Harcourt Shopping Mall, said that the fire incident broke out 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. She said that the facility will be opened to the public on Thursday after the smoke would have cleared out. The Manager said that a few persons were injured as a result of the fire incident.
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