The Obinato Community in Amesi, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra, was on Tuesday thrown into mourning, following the mysterious death of three persons in a 14-feet under ground water tank.
An eye-witness said that a fourth person escaped death in the incident which occurred at about 9 a.m. in an uncompleted one-storey building allegedly owned by one Alex Muorah, a Lagos-based businessman.
The witness, who gave his name simply as Chukwuebuka, named the deceased as Augustine Dimude, 33, a carpenter, Onyebuchi Ezemokwe, 22 and Chidebere Ezendu, 21.
He said that Ezemokwe and Ezendu who were contracted to wash the tank with some chemicals bought by Muorah died of suffocation.
“I am frightened and worried because we have never seen this type of death before in this town,” Chukwuebuka said.
Mr Gilbert Obidiegwu, the Chairman of Umudim kindred, who also confirmed the incident, said that shortly after Ezemokwe went into the water tank, he shouted, prompting Ezendu to go for his rescue.
“Ezendu, who was also trapped, shouted for help which attracted Dimude, a passer-by near the building to go for his rescue, but he too was also caught up.
“The fourth person, Ebere Oraekwe, collapsed on the ladder while trying to rescue the three other trapped persons who later died,” Obidiegwu said.
Obidiegwu said that it took the effort of yet another rescuer who covered his nose with clothes before climbing down the tank to bring out the victims who were rushed to a hospital where they were pronounced dead.
He, however, noted that Oraekwe was receiving treatment at the National Hospital, Mkporogwu, while the corpses of the deceased were deposited at Visitation Mortuary, Umuchu all in Aguata Local Government Area.
The community which had yet to recover from the shock, however, said they suspected foul play in the death of the three young men because such incident had never happened in the village.
They appealed to the police to arrest Muorah, whom NAN learnt left for Lagos that morning, for investigation to help unravel what actually happened.
They wondered why Muorah should purchase what they termed “dangerous chemical” and failed to supervise the cleaning of the tank personally, even as the building was unoccupied.
Meanwhile, the caretaker of the uncompleted building, Ferdinand Ezendu, has been detained at the Umuchu Divisional Police Station.
The Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Raphael Uzoigwe, who could neither deny nor confirm the incident, promised to contact the Umuchu Divisional Police Station on the incident.
As at press time, however, no contact was established with Uzoigwe.