Saturday, May 18, 2013

Ancient tree falls in Imo State, kills over 50 people

Over 50 people are feared dead and a yet to be ascertained number were critically injured when a tall tree known as Osisi Ukwu Uko, collapsed on buildings, as well as those transacting their business in a market located under the tree.
Saturday Vanguard gathered that the tragedy struck at Umudagu Mbieri, Mbaitoli local council area of Imo State late Thursday night, following a heavy down rain that was accompanied by a ferocious windstorm and thunder.It was also gathered that most of the victims were either traders, who were selling their wares in the market, their customers, some passers-by and others who were taking shelter in the town hall and the surrounding houses.
A boy, who simply gave his name as Emeka, told  Saturday Vanguard at the scene of the ugly incident that “about 50 bodies had been removed from the place”, adding that a woman whose leg was dismembered by the fallen tree, had been taken to hospital where medical personnel were battling to save her life.

The devastating rainstorm, which started at about 6pm on the fateful day, continued through the night and spilled over to the morning hours of Friday.
Some of the places damaged by the fallen tree included a segment the market stalls, the town hall and some private buildings located close to the tree.
No fewer than 11 more bodies, including a small girl, were dug out from under the weight of the fallen tree before Vanguard left the scene of the tragic incident yesterday, even as the youths were still digging and combing the entire place for more bodies.

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