TRAGEDY struck at Eruemukowharien, Ughelli North Local Government Area, Delta State, as three persons were reportedly electrocuted and six others severely injured after an 11KVA high tension cable fell on a shop in the oil-rich community.
Sources said some of the deceased, including a firefighter attached to Ughelli Pumping Station, UPS, was trying to rescue a child who was electrocuted when they met their untimely death.
Speaking with newsmen, yesterday, on the incident, Vice President-General of the community, Mr. Joseph Avwowomure, said: “We heard a very loud noise only for us to see that the 11KVA high tension cable that carries power from TRANSCORP to Ughelli through our community had cut and fallen down. Unfortunately, some persons were electrocuted and on the way to the hospital, three of them died.
“Those 11KVA cables have been there for ages without maintenance by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC, and it is very unfortunate that we lost three persons and over three persons are severely injured.
“We have tried severally to prevail on BEDC to change all the cables that have lasted for over 60 years to no avail. As we speak, people are in the morgue and despite our calls to BEDC, it has not yielded any positive results.”
One of the survivors, Obarigho Daniel, said: “We were in the house when I heard a woman screaming for help and I had to rush down to her shop to rescue the situation. As I was about entering her shop, I found myself on the ground and people had to rush me to a nearby clinic for first aid because of the injuries I had all over my body.”
On his part, Secretary-General of the community, Kingsley Enomate, said: “Some of these high tension poles do not have crossbars and that is life-threatening. It is very unfortunate to inform you that these lines you are seeing there have been in existence since the time of the defunct Electricity Company of Nigeria, ECN. That is to tell you that the cables and wires are very old and lack maintenance. Every now and then, they give way and that has just happened today (yesterday) in our community.”
A staff of BEDC who spoke on condition of anonymity said the company’s safety department was investigating the incident.
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