An explosion on Tuesday rocked the Diocesan Headquarters of Umuahia Catholic Archdiocese, popularly Mater Dei Catholic Church on Azikiwe road in Umuahia, the Abia capital.
It was gathered the explosion, which occurred in the church premises at about 2:45pm, caused pandemonium in the area as residents who were taken by surprise scampered for safety.
Sources within the cathedral revealed the explosion was caused by an old abandoned petrol tank, which had been buried and long forgotten.
The church gardener, after his routine cleanup was said to have unknowingly set fire on heap of refuse collected while cleaning the compound directly where the tank was buried
The heat from the fire was said to have triggered the explosion, which affected roofs of houses around the cathedral.
No life was said to however been lost to the incident.
Commissioner of Police, Chris Ezike, told our correspondent exclusively that personnel of the Explosive Ordinance Department (EOD) of the State Command have been moved to the scene of the incident.
He said in a telephone conversation: “A cleaner in the church, after sweeping the compound set fire on the debris and the debris spread to a disused underground fuel tank and exploded, bringing down part of a nearby fence and shattering a vehicle parked in the next compound.
“As I speak to you, the Explosive Ordinance Department (EOD) of the Police; the Bomb Disposal Unit has been moved to the place to make all assurance that there is nothing much more than the facts that we know now.
“By tomorrow, when they come out with their scientific report, I will also update members of the public.” (NAN)