Two soldiers were feared dead yesterday when an armoured tank stationed at the private residence of Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo of Gombe State exploded. Two others were seriously injured as a result of the explosion.
THISDAY gathered from Gombe Government House sources that the explosion happened at 6:20 pm, prompting soldiers and other armed security personnel to cordon off the area.
The governor’s media aide, Mansur Lawan, sent a text message stating that there was an accidental discharge from the armoured tank stationed in front of Dankwambo’s private residence.
The discharge, it was gathered, might have set off grenades in the tank, triggering multiple explosions outside the residence.
At the time of filing this report, the police, fire service and military personnel were at the scene evacuating the victims of the incident.
Another source, Suleiman Mohammed Al-Amin, the Radio Deutche Welle correspondent, who was at the scene of the explosion, said he saw the amoured tank on fire and a man’s hand that was chopped off by the explosion.
He said he was at the Pantami stadium watching a football match when he heard of the explosion and immediately ran to the scene to verify the incident.
He also revealed that he was manhandled by the military personnel on duty at the scene of the explosion.
Al-Amin said he was seriously beaten by the soldiers, even after he had identified himself and had shown them his identification card. Instead, the soldiers collected his ID card and beat him mercilessly.
All efforts to confirm the explosion from the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Fwaje Atajiri, proved abortive as his phone lines were switched off.