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Tragedy: Telecomms mast kills man at child’s dedication

Tragedy struck in Okwagbe, Ughelli South local government, Delta State, on Saturday when a mast belonging to one of the telecommunication companies, collapsed, killing a man during the dedication of his new baby.

The mast fell on the church where the baby was being dedicated and the baby as well as other members of the church also sustained varying degrees of injury.

Witnesses said the incident occurred when the deceased identified as Prince Ogbodobiri, 36, in company with members of his family and well-wishers, gathered to dedicate his new baby at St. Lazarus Christ Church, Okwagbe.

It was gathered that the Mass was ongoing at the church when the mast, situated near the church, suddenly came down, apparently due to the early morning downpour on the same day.

The church building was said to have collapsed under the weight of the mast, killing Ogbodobiri, a husband of two wives and father of six, at the spot.

The baby, who was being carried by the deceased, before the ugly incident, survived.

The injured, including the baby, and her mother, were thereafter taken to a nearby hospital for medical attention.

One of the witnesses, Mr. Austin Ozobo, said, “the crumbled mast instantly buried the late Ogbodobiri and it took the efforts of church members and sympathisers to bring out his body.”

Ozobo, a Niger Delta activist, added, “the contractor, who installed the mast apparently did a very shoddy job. When it was raining, the mast couldn’t withstand the force of the breeze and it fell on the church, killing the man who was dedicating his child.”

The remains of the deceased have been deposited at the mortuary of the Otu-Jeremi General Hospital, the headquarters of Ughelli South local government.

Public relations officer of the state police command, Celestina Kalu who confirmed the incident, said, “Following the stormy rain, the mast erected at Okwagbe Inland collapsed on St. Lazarus Christ Church building, killing one person in the process. The corpse of the young man has been taken to the Otu-Jeremi General Hospital for autopsy. Others have been taken to yet unknown hospitals for treatment. Effort to contact officials of the telecommunication company is on.”

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