Seven people, one of them a pregnant woman, were killed on Monday morning at Apata market in Ibadan, Oyo State. A live high tension power supply cable of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) suddenly fell on traders at the busy market.
The gory incident which occurred at about 7 o’clock in the morning affected mostly vegetable dealers as they were busy transacting their business at the popular Agbekoja section of the market.
Eye witness accounts identified the deceased pregnant woman simply as Tawa, adding that her mother who was also standing beside her was a victim of the electrocution.
However, a one-year-old baby boy was rescued alive from the scene of the incident while the baby’s mother, whose identify could not be immediately ascertained was not as lucky as the cable fell directly on her. Good Samaritans fought spiritedly to rescue the infant unhurt from the back of his electrocuted mother who passed on immediately after the shock.
Many other traders at the spot sustained injuries and were immediately rushed to nearby hospitals for medical attention.
The rescue mission was led by a youth leader in the community, Wahab Bamidele (a.k.a Wabo) assisted by other youths in the area while the Apata Divisional Police Officer, Mr. Agboola Abiodun was also at the head of a team of policemen from the Division as they mounted security surveillance to ensure that hoodlums did not hijack the incident.
Speaking with newsmen over the electrocution, the Chairman, Ibadan South West Local Government Community Development Council, Alhaji Lasisi Bamidele Popoola lamented that this is the third time this year that the PHCN high tension wire at Apata has been cutting off and fallen explaining that one person was killed in a similar circumstance in the area sometime last year.
Meanwhile, the authorities of the Ibadan South West Local Government Council has declared a three-day mourning for the electrocution victims just as the Apata Market has been temporarily closed down to enable the PHCN management effect thorough repairs to the disconnected high tension wire.
Commercial activities were totally paralysed at the ever bustling Apata Market throughout yesterday as traders immediately put their shops and kiosks under lock and key following the sad news. Even the commercial bus drivers were not left out as they momentarily parked their vehicles off the road, in sympathy with the victims of the early morning electrocution.