Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
Following an accident that claimed the lives of two children of the same parents at the Oakland Amusement Park along Ebeano Tunnel Bypass, Enugu last Monday, the state government yesterday shut down the park, ordering a full scale investigation into the unfortunate incident.
The Commissioner for Information, Godwin Udeuhele, who announced government’s decision while briefing journalists after the state executive council meeting yesterday, described the incident as totally unfortunate.
Udeuhele said one of the facilities at the park malfunctioned and caused the death of the children while they were there to recreate.
“While we sympathise with the family, the state government has since ordered the closure of the centre as well as set up a committee to undertake a fact-finding mission there,” the commissioner said.
Udeuhele said the committee would also visit other event centres in the state to ascertain the standards of their facilities and how they had been functioning.
An eyewitness who was at the park when the accident occurred, said a fatal accident occurred on Monday, July 11, at about 6p.m. when a group of children who came for a birthday party went on the coffee cup ride.
According to the source, the children, about seven in number, got on the coffee cup machine after some children who were on excursion got off the ride
“As the children were ushered to different cups and they sat down, the machine was switched on by the operator. A couple of seconds after the ride started to spin, some of the children attempted to get off the ride, apparently out of fear.
“On realising this, the operator attempted to get the children to sit down but unfortunately, it was too late. He too got hurt because he stepped on the floor of an already spinning machine.
“Out of the panic that ensued, visitors to the park got into the control room and attempted to stop the ride but apparently increased the speed. At that time some of the children fell off the ride and were badly hurt.”
Aside the two sisters that died instantly, four other children were badly injured and are now lying critical at a private hospital in the state capital.