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Accidents

Abuja transformer explodes, kills pregnant woman, five others

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  •  As Double car bomb attack kills four near Aden airport: Military

There was pandemonium at the Tundunwada area of Lugbe, a satellite town in the Federal Capital Territory when a transformer exploded and electrocuted six persons, including a pregnant woman who recently moved into her house in the area.

About four persons were also said to have been injured during the incident, including a six-year-old boy, Destiny Okolo, who suffered injuries on his face and left ear.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the transformer was on fire for about 10 minutes during which it sent devastating electric current to some residential apartments in the area.

Our correspondent, who visited the community on Tuesday, gathered that the incident happened around 9pm on Saturday.

Abuja Electricity Distribution Company officials were seen investigating the incident and pacifying the residents in the locality.

Findings indicate that the pregnant woman, whose name could not be immediately ascertained, wanted to switch off her fan when she was electrocuted. Her son was said to have raised the alarm which alerted her neighbours to her death.

The lad was said to have been taken to a Catholic church pending when his father, who is a resident in Lagos, would arrive in Abuja.

Geoffrey Atoh, 24, whose friend, Joseph Terva, was electrocuted, explained that the victim was about stepping out of his apartment when he was killed.

“We were outside when the transformer exploded and started burning for about 10 minutes. Everyone was afraid and started running helter-skelter. It was later that I heard that my friend, Joseph, was electrocuted. We rushed down to his house and found that he had died,” Atoh explained.

Donald Dooga, who lost his brother, Joseph Moses, 22, told our correspondent that his sibling died before they could get him to the hospital.

Dooga said Moses was electrocuted as he was about changing the fuse of his electricity switchboard when he saw the blaze from the transformer.

He said, “When Joseph saw the explosion and the huge fire from the transformer, he rushed to the switchboard to change the fuse, but he was electrocuted in the process. Somebody told me that my brother had been electrocuted, so, we rushed him to the hospital, but he died on the way.”

He said the deceased had just completed his secondary school education and was working as a barber to raise money to further his education.

“We have informed our parents in Benue and we will take him there for burial soon,” he added.

Little Destiny was recuperating at home when our correspondent visited, but his father said he had spent over N11,000 on medical bills.

His mother said she was on the verandah when she felt electricity current passing through the floor tiles.

“We attempted to run from the house, but the electric current injured Destiny in the face and behind the ear. Another person, Edwin Joseph, was also injured in the waist,” she said.

A survivor, Donald Terlumun, said he was dozing in his room when screams outside. He added that his room was vibrating and as he made to leave the house, he was jolted by the electric current.

He said, “As I made to step out, the door shocked me and threw me against the wall. I shouted and made for the door again and the next thing was that I was flung outside where I hit my face on the ground. I later opened my eyes to find myself in the hospital.”

Terlumun who had a swollen face and some cuts, stated that he had spent N20,800 on hospital bills.

His neighbour, Nathaniel Nyinjo, blamed the AEDC for the incident, saying they had visited the community and promised to compensate the injured.

He said, “The AEDC has already admitted its fault and promised to visit us during the Sallah holiday. But if they failed to compensate the injured and the families of the deceased, they should forget about restoring power around here and we will take them to court.”

Another survivor, Pius Moses, who was injured in both feet, said he had spent N14,500 to treat his injuries.

There were conflicting reports about the number of the dead. While a community leader, Felix Omeje, put the number of the dead at six, the community’s chief security officer, Geoffrey Ukeje, said he personally took three dead bodies to the hospital, noting that only four persons were injured.

Omeje blamed the AEDC for the tragedy, attributing the explosion to a wrong connection by the power firm.

The Head, Corporate Communications and Community Relations, AEDC, Mr. Oyebode Fadipe, said investigation had commenced into the incident.

He declined to speak about compensations for the victims until the cause of the accident had been established and a decision taken by the management.

In the meantime, at least four people were killed in a double car bomb attack today targeting a military base adjoining Aden’s international airport, according to a military source who blamed jihadists.

“The attackers detonated a car bomb at the entrance to the base, allowing a second vehicle to drive inside where it exploded”, the source told AFP, with at least four dead among the military.

Punch with additional report from Zee News

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Accidents

NIWA Condoles Actors Guild Of Nigeria, Victim’s Families Over Boat Mishap

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NIWA Condoles Actors Guild Of Nigeria, Victim's Families Over Boat Mishap

…As Ali Nuhu says recent deaths in movie industry rob the nation of legendary filmmakers

 The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), has conveyed its deepest regret over the unfortunate boat mishap which claimed four lives on Wednesday.

It could not yet be established whether or not, all the passengers wore lifejackets at the time of the incident.

A condolence message by Dakio Horsfall, the Acting General Manager (Marine) of the authority, on Thursday in Lokoja, said the management of the authority condoled with the Actors Guild of Nigeria and the victims’ families over the losses.

The mishap reportedly involved two boars on the River Niger en route to Asaba in Delta State at about 2:00 P.M. on Wednesday.

The accident, which involved an unregistered fibreglass boat with 12 persons on board and a privately owned wooden boat with a lone driver, left four persons dead, while seven others were rescued.

Horsfall said: “Preliminary reports indicated that the accident resulted from a frontal collision between the two boats due to overspeeding.

“Sadly, two people died at the scene of the accident, two more bodies were recovered 24 hours later off-site, while 7 persons were rescued.

“Consequently, the Authority commiserates with the families of the deceased persons and pray that the good Lord will repose the souls of the departed”.

He said that upon the receipt of the report of the accident through its community-based structure, the NIWA deployed its search and rescue team to the scene for immediate rescue activities.

NIWA Condoles Actors Guild Of Nigeria, Victim's Families Over Boat Mishap

According to him, the team and other stakeholders including the local divers, swung into action and have continued the search and rescue effort since Wednesday.

“As of the last count, one person is still unaccounted for.

“Also, the Marine Department of NIWA has activated its accident investigation mechanism to determine the cause(s) of the accident and make appropriate recommendations,” he said

The manager stressed the need for all users of the inland waterways to, mandatorily, adhere to all the established safety protocols, including the completion of passenger manifest at the loading and offloading points.

“The usage of life jackets on the waterways is mandatory, avoiding over speeding, and yielding to weather dictates, at all times,” he said.

Horsfall commended the Marine Police, local divers/ fishermen, Maritime Unions and other good-hearted Nigerians who rose to support the Authority in its rescue efforts.

“Nevertheless, NIWA hereby assures all Nigerians of its continuous efforts aimed at promoting safer inland waterways for the use of all”.

In another development, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), Mr Ali Nuhu has said that recent deaths in the movie industry have robbed the nation of legendary filmmakers.

This is contained in a statement signed by Brian Etuk,  the Director of Public Affairs of the NFC in Abuja.

Nuhu described the death of Saratu Gidado (aka Daso) and John Odonwodo,  known as Junior Pope, as heart-wrenching for colleagues and film industry stakeholders.

”Their deaths, which occurred within the week has left  Nigeria’s movie industry in a state of mourning.

”Stakeholders have been pained by the frequent recent losses robbing the country of legendary filmmakers,  who have impacted and contributed greatly to the growth of Nigeria’s film industry.

“Their footprints within the development of the Nigerian film industry will not be forgotten,” he said.

Speaking about the late Gidado, the NFC boss said she caught the fancy and interest of Nigerians, particularly as a lead character in several of Kannywood films,  such as ‘Linzami Da Wuta’ and ‘Gidauniya’.

”She was a Zuma Film Festival(ZUFF)  2023 Life Time Achievers Awardee but sadly succumbed to death in the early hours of Tuesday, April 9.

“Odonwodo’s role in showcasing the professional competencies and screen delivery by actors is remarkable,  as can be found in ‘Honey Money’, ‘Blood Affair’ and ‘Wrong Initiation’ movies in which the late actor acted.

 “While Mr Ibu delivered that evoked laughter and comic relief,  leaving behind a gap to be filled, the refined gentlemen shall be greatly missed,” he added.

Nuhu pledged that the NFC would continue to support the film industry policy initiatives that promoted friendly and safe working conditions,  including medical, health and life insurance schemes for stakeholders.

Nuhu also sympathised with the immediate families, friends and associates of the deceased, as well as the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) and prayed that Almighty God grant them rest.

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Accidents

5  Die In Lagos-Ibadan Expressway Accident

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19 die, 26 injured in Kano auto crash — FRSC

Five persons were confirmed dead in an accident at NASFAT turning on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway on Wednesday.

Ten others sustained injuries in the accident.

Mrs Florence Okpe, the spokesperson for the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Ogun, confirmed the incident to newsmen in Abeokuta.

Okpe noted that the incident occurred at 9:56a.m and it involved a Daf truck marked KUT 561 ZZ, a Toyota Hiace bus marked GGE 84 YF, and a Man diesel truck without a registration number.

She said that the likely cause of the accident was dangerous driving on the part of one of the trucks.

”A total of 15 persons were involved, which comprised 11 men and four women.

” Ten were injured (six men and four women) while five persons were killed from the multiple crash,” she said.

The FRSC spokesperson said that the injured victims were taken to Famobis Hospital, Mowe, while the deceased were deposited at Idera Hospital morgue, Sagamu.

The Sector Commander, Anthony Uga, cautioned motorists on speed and reckless driving, advising them to drive defensively for safety. 

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Customs Suspends Noble Intention To Sell Rice At Rock-bottom Price

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Nigeria Customs Service’s noble intention to sell impounded rice to the masses at the rock-bottom price of N10,000 per half-bag has been suspended.

It would be recalled that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), on the directive of Mr. President, announced the commencement of a noble intervention aimed at alleviating the hardships faced by Nigerians and improving access to essential food items through direct disposal of seized edible goods condemned in competent courts of law and certified fit for consumption by relevant government agencies. 

Consequently, according to the Chief Superintendent of Customs and National Public Relations Officer, Abdullahi Maiwada, a pilot exercise was conducted on Friday, 23 February 2024, at NCS Old Zonal Headquarters, Yaba, Lagos state. 

Stated Maiwada: “The exercise was conducted following meticulous planning to address all potential risks that may emerge during the exercise. As part of our process and control measures, we had Nigeria Police and military personnel to ensure crowd control. We also fully equipped a medical team on the ground in anticipation of potential risks during an exercise of that magnitude. Their presence was part of our proactive approach to ensuring the safety and well-being of all participants.

“The disposal of the food items got off to a smooth start at about 0800hrs. We enjoyed the cooperation of the large crowd that obliged us, giving preferences to the elderly, people living with disabilities, pregnant women, and other vulnerable Nigerians who showed up for the exercise. This was the case up until about 1700hrs, as attested to by the over 5000 beneficiaries and members of the press. 

 

“However, unforeseen challenges arose when we ran out of stock and announced the continuation of the exercise the following day, leading to a regrettable outcome. The crowd became desperate and charged through our barricades in search of rice bags inside emptied containers. In the stampede that ensued, some fatalities and injuries were regrettably recorded”, the Service Spokesman stated, stressing that the Nigeria Customs Service extends its heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives during the unfortunate incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the affected families during this challenging time, and we assure them of our unwavering support. 

“We are working with Hospital Authorities to establish contact and engage directly with the victims’ families on their next steps. Following this incident, an internal investigation was initiated to understand the circumstances surrounding this unfortunate event. 

“As a service deeply committed to the welfare and safety of Nigerians, we recognize the need for heightened sensitivity and preventive measures in all our operations. 

“Considering the recent unfortunate event, we regrettably announce the suspension of this exercise until we establish what transpired on Friday, 23 February 2024. 

“This should help us to properly articulate more robust and comprehensive action that will not defeat the noble intention. We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of all Nigerians as we work towards addressing the challenges facing our nation’s food security”, the Imgemaker said further. 

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