Worried by the death of 7 persons and the various degrees of injuries sustained by 11 others, the Board of Directors, Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, and the representatives of Federal Government of Nigeria under the auspices of Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency, NEMSA, have visited the scene of the electrical accident in Calabar for the –on-the-spot assessment and also to condole with the deceased families and survivors of the unfortunate incident.
While speaking with grief, the Managing Director, 4Power Consortium Ltd, Engr. Matthew Edevbie described the incident as unfortunate and regrettable. He noted that the news of the unfortunate incident got to him the following day when he was awoken from sleep.
Engr. Edevbie said that he was shocked and worried when the number of causalities being circulated in the local and international media was mentioned to him but thanked God that the number was not as earlier reported, though a single life lost meant so much to a community, including his, but not to talk of seven.
He said that it is always a big shock in PHED, whenever it is heard that a customer or a people connected with PHED was involved in an electrical accident because of the safety policy of the company.
Edevbie, however, thanked the Cross River State government under the able leadership of the Governor and members of the State Executive Council, who swung into action immediately, with the PHED representatives, to ensure that the situation was brought to normalcy.
He expressed his heartfelt condolences on the behalf of the Board, Management and staff of PHED to the families of those who lost their loved ones and sympathize with those who sustained injuries.
“ I want to express my since gratitude on behalf of the Board and the leadership of Port Electricity Distribution Company to the government of Cross River State for the way it swung into action to support the company to see exactly what happened.
“I was in a deep shock when I was told the number of people that were involved and I thank God that the number is not as much as it was initially counted, we are really very pained.
“It is a big regret to those of us in PHED whenever a customer or people working for us are involved in an electrical accident.
“But the commitment shown by the Governor, his Deputy, the Commissioners of Power, Information and Urban and regional Planning to the people is highly commendable by taking the victims to the hospital and that is why we are here.
“We have compiled the list with their full names and addresses of those who are involved in order to meet with them.
“we are going to find out the remote cause of the accident with a view to putting a lasting solution to avert future occurrence”, Engr. Edevbie concluded.
Commenting on the Calabar tragedy, the Managing Director, NEMSA, Engr. Peter Ewesor condoled with the bereaved families on behalf of the Federal Government over the unfortunate incident.
Engr. Ewesor assured the people of Cross River State and indeed the victims that the Federal Government would do everything within the law to unravel the situation, adding that investigation has already started by the agency.
He, however, warned members of the public not to erect structures or trade under the high tension lines to avoid what he described as unnecessary death.
He said,”We are saddened by the recorded deaths and the number of people that were injured but the casualties would have been minimised or completely avoided if we obey the safety rules regarding high tension lines”.
Earlier in her speech, the Commissioner for Information, Mrs RoseMary Archibong commended the team for the on-the-spot assessment, adding that the situation did not call for the apportioning of blames but to find a lasting solution with a view to stopping future occurrences.
At the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, the authorities informed the visiting team that one of the 11 survivors that were brought to the hospital, had been discharged early that morning.
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