By George Obok
At least 30 persons died of electrocution on Thursday night in Calabar while watching the Europa Football League match between Manchester United and Anderlecht.
Twenty eight of the victims died on the spot while two died in the hospital. About 50 others were injured.
The incident happened at around 9.30 pm at Nyagasang area of Atimbo in Calabar Municipality local government area of the state.
NAN learnt the electrocution of the victims happened when a nearby transformer exploded twice during the match.
The second time, the high tension wire snapped and dropped on the viewing centre built with zinc.
An eye witness told NAN that when the transformer exploded the first time, it brought so much panic, with dozens of people leaving the centre.
“We were all inside watching the match when we heard the first strike from the transformer; the heavy sound caused panic because some people shouted and ran out.
“After a while, we came back into the viewing centre to continue with the match. Shortly, we heard another heavy sound and when some people tried to run away from the centre, they were affected.
“Over 50 of us escaped death yesterday because we were standing by the door watching the game’’, he said.
A NAN Correspondent who visited the viewing centre said it was built with zinc and part of it had burnt. Inside, the installed fans and the television screen were all burnt.
ASP Irene Ugbo, the State Police Public Relations Officer, confirmed the incident to NAN in an interview.
“We have heard of the incident, some of the people were rushed to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital for treatment.”
The Chief Medical Director of the hospital said a statement would be released in a few hours(NAN)
*Update: The police in a statement debunked the earlier figure of 30 dead and 50 escaped, as an exaggeration. They claimed only 7 people died, while 11 were injured, with one under intensive care.