By Peter Duru
Ikyobo Village in Ushongo local government area of Benue state was a gory site on Wednesday morning when a broken branch of a large tree fell and instantly crushed some 8 persons to death while scores sustained injuries.
According to an eyewitness, the unfortunate incident occurred at about 10.am, at a market square in Ikyobo village when traders were busy displaying their wares for customers.
He stated that those that were crushed by the falling tree branch gathered directly under the tree to display their wares and could not escape from the gigantic tree branch which came crushing down after a terrifying cracking noise that preceded its fall.
Our source told Vanguard that one of the villagers, Mr. Ayoo Awuapila lost his two wives and a relation in the disaster adding that the man was still in shock.
He also intimated that an octogenarian, Madam Mbagwen Nenge sustained serious injury as a result of the disaster but she was responding to treatment at a local hospital in the village.
The eyewitness who explained that the large tree called Genge has over the years been a sit out point for children and adults who gather underneath to play or hold important discussions.
He noted that there was neither rainstorm nor wind which could have triggered the sudden falling off of the tree branch, adding that the development was still a mystery that is yet to be unraveled by the people of the community.
The sad incident which has left many families in the sleepy community wailing and crying, directly and indirectly affected many families in the village.
Vanguard further gathered that the injured in the disaster have been taken to hospitals in Lessel and Gboko while the remains of the dead have been deposited at the General Hospital at the council headquarters.
While expressing shock at the tragedy that befell the community, our source explained that the community had never witnessed such magnitude of disaster in the history of the state.
Ikyobo village is the home town of late Apa Aku, the first civilian Governor of Benue State.