While Lagosians were savouring the downpour on Tuesday to douse the heat experienced in the last few weeks, it was a fatal end for 38-year-old man, Eugene Ibem, who was electrocuted after stepping on a high voltage cable lying inside a pool of water on Hospital Road, Olodi Apapa, Lagos.
It was gathered that the deceased who works with Ibeto Depot Company under the petroleum tanker section in Apapa was sent on an errand. In the process of going to the bank, he stepped into a pool of water, which was electrified by the fallen cable.
According to an eyewitness who pleaded for anonymity, “due to the heavy rain, there was water stagnation, and the road was flooded. We were both passing the road not knowing there was an electric cable in the water. Immediately he stepped on it and felt the shock, he wanted to gain stamina by touching a nearby pole with his wet hands, but his leg was still in the water and he was shaking terribly.
“At that point, myself and a few people had gathered to rescue him. We immediately called the electricity distribution firm to disconnect power in the area, which they did, while we rushed him to the nearest hospital on a motorcycle. We got to the clinic named Kingdom hospital but he was rejected because the doctor was not around and we met only one nurse available, who said she couldn’t do anything.
We had no choice than to take him somewhere else around Ladipo, this time on a tricycle. Everywhere was flooded, we managed to wade through the bad road. The tricycle stopped working when we got to Akogun street, we were looking for another vehicle not knowing he was already dead. His co-workers and friends had to secure a police report at Trinity police station to take his body for burial,” he narrated.
A colleague at Ibeto group described the death as shocking and painful. He said the deceased just got married last year with a wife and three children, who he left at his home in Badagry, in the early hours of the day. He commiserated with the family, saying government should look into the safety of lives and hazards of high voltage wires during the rainy season.
Meanwhile, an ex-worker of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) has been electrocuted in Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State after power was restored to the high-tension lines he was illegally working on.
The victim who was identified as Monday Eboh, hails from Idumu Esah in Ika North East Local Government Area, was electrocuted on a high tension cable after power was turned on by Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC). It was gathered that the victim lost his job and has been working privately as an electrician.
An eyewitness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “Monday was a former NEPA staff before he lost his job there, so he started working as an electrician. An electrician informed Monday of a job, but he said he was on his way. After some time, a lady called back informing us that Monday was dead, that Monday was on the high tension electric when BEDC restored power. So we rushed down to Owanta close to the second power line and met Monday dead. We brought him down and took him to the mortuary”.
Corporate Affairs Officer of BEDC, Asaba/Agbor, Mrs. Esther Okolie, said the victim had been declared wanted by the security operatives for his illegal activities, which has destroyed BEDC installations and transformers.
According to her, the victim who was a staff of the organization was dismissed in 2009. Okolie added that the victim was trying to illegally divert lines from one feeder to another unknown that power would be restored.
Her words: “The electrocuted suspect has been declared wanted by the security operatives i.e. the police, SSS and by the Business Manager of BEDC Agbor for wanton destruction of our installations and transformers through his illegal activities last year. Monday Ebor who was an ex-staff but dismissed in 2009 was electrocuted at Jolly Street Ist Power-Line, Boji-Boji Owa while trying to illegally divert lines from Owa Feeder to another in Town Feeder unknown to him that the Feeder that was out on load would be restored by noon.”