- Reports claim that at least 30 people have lost their lives after high tension electricity cable fell on the roof of a football viewing centre
- A source claims that 80 people were in the hall when the cable came down
- But police say that at least seven people were killed at a viewing centre in Calabar while 10 sustained severe injuries
Over 30 people were reported to have lost their lives at a football viewing centre in Calabar, Cross River state capital, after high tension electricity cable broke from its mooring and fell on the roof of the building.
According to Channels TV, the football fans were said to have assembled at the centre to watch a UEFA Europa League quarter-final match between Manchester United and Anderlecht on satellite television, a game the host won 2-1 (3-2) on aggregate to advance to the semi-final.
A survivor told The Punch that a transformer near the viewing centre located in the Iyang-Esu area of the Calabar Municipal local government area exploded during the match and this caused a high-tension cable to drop on the viewing centre.
The survivor said amid sobs: “It happened during the match between Manchester United and Anderlecht. I heard a deafening bang. I rushed out to see what was happening. When I turned back to go inside the viewing centre, I saw a cable coming down on the centre and this killed the viewers in the hall.
“It was a horrible sight to behold. I wish I didn’t come out to watch the match. Come to think of it, I have DStv at home but I enjoy watching matches at viewing centres. I could have been dead. I can’t believe that the people I was chatting and joking with a few minutes ago are all gone in a most anguishing way. This world is vain.”
A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said more than eighty persons were in the hall when the cable came down.
The resident said: “The whole thing happened within a minute or two. It happened about 9:48pm. Those that died have been taken to the mortuary. A few that survived have been taken to hospitals.”
However, the Police Public Relations Officer, Cross River state Command, Irene Ugbo, have said that at least seven people were killed at a viewing centre in Calabar.
She said the incident left 10 persons seriously injured.
The police spokesperson said the injured persons are currently receiving treatment at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital.
“We have one person in the intensive care in the hospital,” she said.
Ms. Ugbo also told Premium Times that the victims died on the spot when an electricity cable fell on top of the make-shift house that was used as a viewing centre.
The house is said to have been constructed mostly with corrugated zinc.
Meanwhile, Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River state has described as tragic and horrifying the loss of several lives at a viewing centre in Calabar, the state capital.
A horrified Ayade said it was heartwrenching that the lives of the young men were lost in such a gripping manner.
Ayade, according to a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Chief Press, Christian Ita, said the incident marks a dark chapter in the life of the state.
While commiserating with the families of the victims of the tragedy, the governor promised that the state government will look into the likely cause of the incident with a view to preventing a reccurence.
Earlier, NAIJ.com had reported that Marcus Rashford netted the winning goal for the Red Devils in the 107th minute to take them into the semi-final.
President Muhammdu Buhari has expressed shock over the death some football viewers who lost their lives at a football viewing centre in Calabar, Cross River state capital.
The president in a statement, issued by his senior media aide, Garba Shehu, on Friday, April 21, commiserated with the government and people of Cross River state, and football fans nationwide over the unfortunate incident.
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