There is heavy shooting at the Warri Correctional Centre, popularly referred to as Okere Prison in Warri South council area of Delta State.
Flames and thick smoke are also emanating from the premises, fuelling fear among residents, most of whom have locked shops and scampered for safety.
The Nation had reported a scare across the Warri metropolis following rampaging youths reportedly bearing cutlasses and tyres.
The cause of the fire is not clear, but confirmed reports claim that the thick smoke coming out of the premises of the correctional centre is as a result of the burning of tyres.
It was learnt that the shootings were to scare hoodlums planning a jailbreak, away.
Residents of Okere Road where the prison is located are panicking over the possible replication of the incidents in Edo, Lagos and other states.
A distorted video seen by this reporter showed youths throwing stones towards the prison entrance.
Sporadic shootings followed afterward, forcing the hoodlums to retreat, even as a voice is heard saying “oya, na house o”.
Another video clip shows at least seven persons come out of the prison to heavy cheering of the cutlass-wielding youths.
Yet another video depicts dozens of youths suspected to have initially escaped, made to seat on the ground in front of the prison gate by heavily armed security operatives.
When contacted, the State Police Public Relations Officer said “they said the prisoner lit fire inside the prison, but the outside is calm. For now, we don’t know if anybody escaped”.
She emphasized that the force would not rely on videos flying around because of the spate of trending fake news, adding that ” our policemen are already there.
“They had already beefed up security before now. After some time, I will call the Divisional Police Officer if the people have been able to ascertain whether anybody succeeded in coming out.”