June 10, 2023

High-tension cable electrocutes widow, son in Delta Community

Residents expose man tapping electricity from street light to run ice block factory in Maiduguri

By Akpokona Omafuaire, UGHELLI

There is mourning in the Eruemukohwarien community of Ughelli North Local Government Area, Delta State, as a widow named Mary and her son, Prince, met were electrocuted by an 11KVA high-tension cable owned by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC).

An eyewitness said, “The woman and her two sons, Prince and Oghenekobiruo were in the store when the incident occurred and the last boy, Oghenekobiruo had to run out but the mother and his elder brother could not make it.”

The source added that there was a fierce fire spark which consumed the victims following the cable’s breaking.

Vanguard also learned that Prince, a JSS3 student would have finished his JSSCE on Friday.

“Most painful, this has become a recurring incident, as less than a year ago, three other individuals lost their lives to similar electrocutions in the same community.” He said.

It would be recalled that in April, 2022, three persons, a Fire Service staff attached to Ughelli Pumping Station, Mr Daniel Omovwerha 20, and others were electrocuted by 11kva cable and many others were injured.

The incidence, our source said has led residents to demand the BEDC’s immediate action in replacing the outdated cables rather than resorting to temporary fixes.

As at time of filing this report, the high-tension cable responsible for the tragic deaths of the mother and son was still left dangling and lying on the ground.

The secretary of the community, Chief Kingsley Enomate who spoke to newsmen over the ugly incident blamed the BEDC for total negligence on their part.

He said, “What happened is very sympathetic and unfortunate because lives have been lost again in a similar way.

“About a year ago, we lost three persons in a similar way in this community which is not good for us or anyone that annually we will losing souls in because poor equipments and materials of BEDC.

“After the death of three persons last year, we made all frantic effort to bring the management of BEDC to come and access the situation on ground.

“They came and on the spot assessment was carried out and they promised to change the lines but up till now nothing has been done, the cables, separators, everything about the equipments are very old.

“With what I was told, a mother and a child died in this fire incident and it is very sad and pathetic occurrence.

“The government should come in and prevail on the management of BEDC to change all the cables that have lasted for over a five decades.”

Another witness, who identified herself as Prevail, voiced her frustration, squarely placing the blame on the BEDC for failing to replace the hazardous cables with newer ones.

She pleaded with the government to step in and support the community in replacing the wires, emphasizing the urgent need to prevent further loss of life caused by the ongoing reliance on old and deteriorating electrical infrastructure.

Efforts to speak with the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC, Spokesperson, Helen Ogagarue was not successful as calls to her lines were not connected.

At the time of reporting, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Bright Edafe, had not yet responded to inquiries from our Correspondent seeking information about the incident.