PHED: We have sent our heartfelt condolence to families of the victims
Paul Obiajunwo, PortHarcout
At least five persons have been reportedly electrocuted at Rumuorosi clan in Rumuigbo, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rives State.
The five persons allegedly died on the Tuesday morning after a transformer in the area development fault leading to high voltage.
Mr. Allwell Michael, who witnessed the incident narrated that the transformer that supplied electricity to the area exploded before the incident occurred.
Michael said after the transformer exploded that power went off and was immediately restored and the current was very high.
He said: “The transformer exploded and they still brought light immediately. The current was so high that people rushed to switch off their gadgets. One man was fetching water when the thing happened he rushed to put off his light butt immediately he touched the switch his white eyes came out and he died there. Five people died in the incident.”
Similarly, the Community Development Committee Chairman of Rumuorosi, Comrade Emmanuel Womanda noted that the incident had caused panic in the area.
Womanda blamed the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, for the incident, noting that when youths of the area protested to the office of the electricity firm that the staff members fled.
Womanda said: “I just woke up and saw people running up and down because light were shocking people. The current was too high in fact the current was overflowing. It was over current from the transformer.
“It as PHED’s fault. The light killed one shoe maker. It also killed a couple, husband and wife at Womanda Street. We went to the police to report but when we got to PHED’s office they all ran away. The police came when we blocked the road to hear us out.”
Meanwhile, the management of PHED has condoled with the families that lost their loved ones in the incident and added that investigation had commenced on the issue.
The Manager Communication PHED, Mr. John Onyi, who spoke with The post after a meeting with some stakeholders in the state on issue, described the incident as an accident.
Onyi said: “PHED has sent our heartfelt condolence to families of the victims. It was an accident not an intentional act. We want residents of the area to give us chance to investigate what actually happened. The place was volatile when the incident happened that was why we could not enter.