By Michael Olugbode
Explosion on Saturday rocked the site where technicians were carrying out repair work on damaged power infrastructure in Maiduguri.
Maiduguri, the birthplace of Boko Haram, has been in darkness for about a month now since suspected Boko Haram members damaged power lines along Maiduguri-Damaturu road.
Technicians were subsequently deployed to the site and security was provided for them by a combined team of soldiers and men of the Borno State Rapid Response Team.
Every day before the commencement of work by the technicians, soldiers scanned the entire area for any explosive device that might have been planted by Boko Haram.
But on Saturday at about 10am, when technicians were getting ready to commence the day’s work, there was an explosion which destroyed a Hilux Toyota van and seriously injured three technicians.
According to an eyewitness, who spoke anonymously to our correspondent, two of the three injured had their limbs severed.
The eyewitness, said: “Just as we were about to begin the normal daily duty, one of the vehicles stepped on a landmine and was scattered, three people at the back of the Hilux vehicle were seriously injured.”
He said: “In fact we can see the severed limbs of two of the injured, as the three were assisted to the hospital.”
The eyewitness said the incident occurred when one of the vehicles parked at a spot which had not be scanned by the military.
He disclosed that the practice was that everyday before the commencement of work, the large expanse of land would be scanned by soldiers for planted improvised explosive device (IED).
He added that “it is when none is seen that a go ahead to park vehicles and commence work would be given.”
He lamented that it seemed people were getting used to the fact that there was no danger and one of the vehicles, without getting the normal all clear instruction, went to park where the soldiers had not yet scanned.
He said tye vehicle stepped on a landmine and an explosion occurred.
Confirming the incident, the Borno RRS Commander, said: “My men have evacuated the injured to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital to be treated.”
He said it was quite unfortunate that this had to happen as there were always security arrangement in place and instructions that everyone on site was instructed to adhere to.