As many as 30 persons watching the Europa League football match between Manchester United and Anderlecht perished in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State in the evening of Thursday, April 20, 2017 as an electric cable fell from a power line.
According to news reports, and photos from the scene of the incident, many of the victims were electrocuted.
A survivor, who spoke to Punch, said that a transformer near the viewing center located in the Iyang-Esu area of the Calabar Municipal Local Government Area exploded during the match, causing a high-tension cable to detach and drop on the viewing center.
The survivor narrated amid tears and sobbing, “It happened during the match between Manchester United and Anderlecht. I heard a deafening bang. I rushed out to see what was happening. When I turned back to go inside the viewing center, I saw a cable coming down on top the center and this electrocuted the viewers in the hall.
“It was a horrible sight to behold. I wish I didn’t come out to watch the match. Come to think of it, I have DStv at home but I enjoy watching matches at viewing centers. I could have been dead. I can’t believe that the people I was chatting and joking with a few minutes ago are all gone in a most anguishing way. This world is vain.”
A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that over eighty persons were present in the hall when the cable came down.
The resident added, “The whole thing happened within a minute or two. It happened about 9:48 pm. Those that died have been taken to the mortuary. A few that survived have been taken to hospitals.”
Irene Ugbo, the spokesperson for the Cross River State Police Command, confirmed the incident to the press.
She said the number of casualties would be confirmed on Friday.
GRAPHIC PHOTOS from the scene can be viewed HERE. Viewer discretion is advised.