- President Buhari commiserates with the government and people of Cross River state over the deaths of some football viewers in Calabar
- Buhari commends the state government for the prompt action in setting up a commission of inquiry into the incident
- The president offers his deepest condolences to the family and friends of the mostly young victims of the tragedy
President Muhammdu Buhari has expressed shock over the deaths some football viewers who lost their lives at a football viewing centre in Calabar, Cross River state capital, after a high tension electricity cable broke from its mooring and fell on the roof of the building.
The president in a statement, issued by his senior media aide, Garba Shehu, on Friday, April 21, commiserated with the government and people of Cross River state, and football fans nationwide over the unfortunate incident.
Buhari also commended the state government for the prompt action in setting up a commission of inquiry into the incident, and its offer of assistance to the victims and their families.
According to the statement: “The President offers his deepest condolences to the family and friends of the mostly young victims, whose sudden demise is a big blow not only to their families, but also to the football-loving nation.
He prays that God Almighty will grant the souls of the departed eternal rest and comfort all who mourn their irreparable loss.”
According to Channels TV, the football fans were said to have assembled at the centre to watch a UEFA Europa League quarter-final match between Manchester United and Anderlecht on satellite television, a game the host won 2-1 (3-2) on aggregate to advance to the semi-final.
A survivor told The Punch that a transformer near the viewing centre located in the Iyang-Esu area of the Calabar Municipal local government area exploded during the match and this caused a high-tension cable to drop on the viewing centre.
However, the police public relations officer, Cross River state Command, Irene Ugbo, said that at least seven people were killed at a viewing centre in Calabar.
She said the incident left 10 persons seriously injured.
The police spokesperson said the injured persons are currently receiving treatment at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital.
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