Two persons have been electrocuted and property worth millions of Naira destroyed in yet another electrocution incident in Calabar.
The incident, which occurred at Adak Uko Street off Mbukpa Road in Calabar South Local Government Area of Cross River State, began at about 8pm Monday and comes barely six months after a similar incident took nine lives in a football viewing center when a hire tension wire fell on the building during a UEFA Champions’ League match.
An eyewitness and a victim, Mr. Itorobong Akpan, said that property worth millions of naira alongside several apartments have been destroyed.
According to him, “this is the fifth time this year between last month and this month that this high tension cable has fallen. Yesterday, at about 8:00pm, we heard some sounds and suddenly, the cable fell off and landed on our roof. The cable is a high tension and there was a huge vibration and this lit up the whole compound. The zinc, protectors, fan were all reddish and power was still on.
“We called the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company severally and there was no answer. We called the State Fire service and there was no answer until even the Divisional Police Officer for Mbukpa went to the Fire Service and persuaded them to come and they were told that government has not given them money to repair the vehicles.
“They contacted the Federal Airport Fire Service for solace and were told that they are not coming. All these happened for over forty minutes and the power supply was still on. So that’s what happened.
“Most occupants of the building were around when this inferno occurred but the young boy who died ran out of his apartment and touched an antenna pole and got electrocuted while the lady who died owns a steel provisions store in the compound. She touched the steel housing her provision store and also got executed.
“During the electrocution, I told those who were inside their apartments to remain inside and they heeded my advice and so that’s why a number of lives have been saved. It could have been worse. I was also inside my shop until the electrocution ceased,” he said.
The Divisional Police Officer for Mbukpa Police Station, Peter Gomba, confirmed the incident and expressed regrets that the state fire service lacked the capacity to come to the aid of the people when their services was most needed.
He commended the youths of the community for cooperating with the Police to ensure that the number of causalities and incidences of looting were minimized.
The two dead persons were said include a 100-level student of Mechanical Engineering of the Cross River State University of Technology (CRUTECH) and a Nursing mother who lived in the affected buildings.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Student Affairs, Prince Michael Abuo, said the governor is going to ensure the issue is addressed so it does not happen again.