10th August, 2011
Four men escaped death as their attempt to erect a local antenna in their home has ended in disaster as they were hit by a Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) 132KV line, resulting in severe burnt injuries.
The names of the victims were given as Baba Seki, Tosin, Johnson and a man popularly called â€œMOPOL.â€
They were hurriedly taken to a nearby hospital, but, Tosin was said to be having severe injuries and was rushed to the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), Sagamu, where unconfirmed report hinted that he was rejected.
The incident, which occurred at Sotubo area of Sagamu in Sagamu local government area of Ogun state, Southwest Nigeria, on Tuesday night led to a total blackout and paralysed the usual social and commercial activities in the community.
Eye witness account told our correspondent that tragedy struck when the bamboo pole with which the affected victims were using to erect the local antenna fell on the power line and cut it off.
Unknown to them, the line with current on it dropped on the four of them, resulting in severe burns.
The Public Affairs Manager for the PHCN, Sagamu, Mr. Abel Osungbawaye confirmed the incident when contacted by our correspondent this afternoon.
He explained that the company has been making a number of public enlightenments on the dangers of getting close to the power-line, even as he absolved the company of any blame.
According to him, â€œIt did happen actually. But we cannot be held responsible. We have been talking to them on the dangers of getting close the power-line. In fact, our quick response saved them . As I speak with you now, the whole town is still in darkness. The transmission engineers from Ikorodu will have to rectify it before power is restored back.â€
Osungbawaye used the opportunity to further urge the public to desist from staying closer to such power-line, stressing that the rule was clear as to the gap between a power-line and a building.
â€œFor 11/33KV it is 20 feet gap on both sides, while for 132kv, which is the type that fell on these people, it is 30 feet gap on both sides.â€
By Abiodun Onafuye/Abeokuta