By Chinenyeh Ozor
As usual, fun seekers converged at a drinking joint which also served as viewing centre in Umusigide Obollo Etiti community in Udenu Local government area of Enugu state, last Sunday, cheering and throwing banters, without the slightest inkling that danger lurked ahead.
Then, all of sudden an incident that changed the course of day occurred at about 2.30pm, after a truck loaded with construction material veered off its lane and rammed into the relaxation centre, killing ten persons on the spot while others sustained varying degrees of injuries.
The truck which belongs to Miffe Construction Company was reportedly conveying the materials to an ongoing construction site: Ikem/Obollo Afor to Adani road in Uzo-Uwani local government area, when one front tyre reportedly burst, while descending to Obollo-Etiti .
Some injured could not escape, even though they put up resistance, as they were reportedly trapped by the truck till the next day. Frantic fforts made to pull the truck out in order to save the trapped victims reportedly proved abortive. Not even the efforts of policemen, Federal Road Safety Corps and Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps who brought in a crane to pull the truck out of the wreckage could salvage the situation.
Crime Guard gathered that owner of the popular drinking joint, Mr. Ifeanyi Odoh had his leg chopped off while his father , Fidelis Odoh, had his body parts dismembered in the fatal incident that was described as the worst tragedy that has hit the community this year. The remains of Odoh were immediately interred same day.
How I narrowly escaped death
Narrating how he narrowly escaped death, one of the survivors, Mr. Timothy Odoh, disclosed that he was sitting in the same position with two of his friends when the incident occurred. But while he is alive to share his ordeal, his two friends are not.
According to him: “ The drinking joint had a bush bar and a large hall that served as the viewing centre. I was sitting in the bush bar with Sunday Ugwueze and Fidelis Odo when the trailer ran into the bar . I can not say how many people were in the bar when the incident occurred. But I know that some people were taken to the hospital . Unfortunately, the two men I sat with died ,while I managed to come out alive after the incident occurred”. An eye witness who gave his name as Joseph Maryaba , who said he was among those who arrived the scene first said: “I saw the entire joint crashed with people still trapped. The bar attendant Chikama , who is a relation of owner of the bar narrowly escaped death, as the incident occurred barely after he left for the toilet. The only survivor is Timothy. About four others were rushed to the hospital at Obollo-Afor. But they are on danger list due to the injuries sustained.
Godwin Okwnna another survivor was partially lucky, as he was hit by a block just as he was leaving the joint”.