LAGOS – At least 7 people were killed Thursday night and 11 wounded by after an electric cable broke while watching a Europa League match in Calabar, southern Nigeria.
The accident occurred on Thursday night as supporters of Manchester United and Anderlecht had gathered in the street to watch the quarter-finals of the Europa League on television. ” Around 10:00 pm, a high voltage cable fell on them. We found the inanimate bodies of 7 people, “Cross River state police spokeswoman Irene Ugbo said, adding that 11 viewers had been taken to the hospital, including one in critical condition.
As reported by the BBC, eyewitnesses describe hearing a loud explosion from an electrical transformer which caused the cable to fall.
An eyewitness told the BBC he had counted at least 16 bodies, including children, at the scene of the accident.
One witness told local television how the disaster occurred.
“I was sitting at the front seats when I saw the reflection form the transformer,” he said.
“I was the first person to run outside.
“Everybody saw the reflection of the light from the transformer.
“Everybody was running to go out from the door.
“As they were running, everybody was jam-packing themselves. Because the high tension (cable) fall on top, (it) contacted everybody there.”
Twenty eight of the victims died on the spot while two more died in the hospital and about 50 others were injured, Today reported.
Our thoughts go out to the United fans, their friends and families affected by the tragedy in Calabar, Nigeria, yesterday. pic.twitter.com/WGnHAxpjMV
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 21, 2017
It has been reported that scores of fans managed to escape.
Manchester United has responded by tweeting its condolences to the victims and their families.
Authorities in the country said it is illegal to erect structures under high-tension cables.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has also sent his condolences, reports ITV.
Fans electrocuted watching match
A statement from State House said Mr Buhari was “shocked and saddened” to learn of the tragic event.
The death of “the mostly young victims” the statement adds, “is a big blow not only to their families, but also to the football-loving nation”.