Bassey Inyang in Calabar
Two persons, a first year student of Mechanical Engineering of the Cross River State University of Technology (CRUTECH), and a nursing mother were electrocuted on Tuesday when a high-tension cable fell on the roof of a residential building at 14 Adak Uko Street in Calabar Southon Monday night.
The name of the deceased was given as Inyang David, while the late woman who put to birth recently could not be established immediately.
It was not clear if there was anyone who sustained injuries as a result of the incident, aside from the deceased
According to the landlord of the house, who gave his name as Â Obo, the collapsed cable ignited fire on the building, razed it, and killed the two persons.
Obo said high-tension cable had been collapsing on the building before, but had never caused any harm.
He said since the incident happened, nobody from the fire service or the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company had reached the area to the affected families to express any form of concern.
A friend of the deceased studentÂ who gave his name as Mr. Tolale Prince Harmony, said each time the cable collapsed in the past the officials of the PHEDC office in Calabar were contacted by they never took any remedial action.
Â â€œThey keep directing the people to call Port Harcourt. I am wondering, what does Port Harcourt have to do with this? I donâ€™t understand. During the fire, they called the fire service and they said no water, no imprest, nothing to run. I donâ€™t understand this. The cable fell on the building, and caused a fire that killed Inyang David, and killed another lady, who just gave birth, and did child dedication just two Sundays ago. Cross River should come into play because it has affected a citizen of the state. The government should do something to ensure its citizens are in good condition.â€
Harmony who led protesters to the Government House, Calabar yesterday, lamented that the deceased was an only child of the immediate family, whose father died sometime ago.
Addressing that protesters, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Student Affairs, Prince Michael Abuo, said the state governor, Professor Ben Ayade, would ensure that the issue was addressed to prevent a recurrence.
The Acting Chief Executive Officer, Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, Â Kingsley Achife, reacted to the latest tragic incident has on behalf of the company.
A statement to that effect issued by Manager, Corporate Communications, PHEDC, Mr. John Onyi, read as follows: â€˜Electrocution: PHED commiserates with bereaved famiies: The Acting Chief Executive Officer, Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED), Kingsley Achife, has on behalf of the company commiserated with the families of those who died yesterday in Calabar as a result of electrical accident.
â€œAchife also sympathised with those whose houses were burnt during the unfortunate incident.
â€œThe CEO, who expressed displeasure over the incident, has assured the community that the said feeder has been isolated to ensure that lives and properties are secured, adding that an investigation team has been constituted with a view to finding out the remote causes of the accident.
â€œHe however, urged the residents to remain calm and law abiding and to accord the team the necessary support during the investigation.
â€œHe seized the opportunity to further inform members of the public and indeed the customers, to always adhere to safety rules by not erecting any structure under PHED high tension lines adding that series of letters have since April 2015 been written to relevant authorities on why people should not encroach on PHEDâ€™s right of way.
â€œIt will be recalled that Cameroon 11kv feeder snapped yesterday night at Inyang Street, Calabar South, resulting to the death of two persons and two buildings were in flames.
â€œThe management of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company had after the incidence of Â April 20, 2017 where eight persons lost their lives intensified sensitisation programmes both on radio, television and direct engagement on the importance of not transacting business under high tension lines.â€™â€™