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Nigerian Football

30 Electrocuted at Europa Cup Viewing Centre



Tragedy struck Thursday night in Calabar, South East Nigeria as about 30 football fans were feared dead at public viewing centre where the Europa Cup tie of Manchester versus Anderlecht was being watched. gathered that the victims were apparently electrocuted. An eyewitness who survived the tragic incident revealed that a transformer near the viewing centre located in the Iyang-Esu area of the Calabar Municipal Local Government Area exploded while people gathered to watch the Europa Cup quarter finals encounter.
It was further gathered that the explosion caused a high-tension cable to drop on the viewing centre. An eye witness told Nigerian newspaper, The Punch that it happened during the match between Manchester United and Anderlecht.
“I heard a deafening bang. I rushed out to see what happened. When I turned back to go inside the viewing centre, I saw a cable coming down on the centre and this electrocuted the viewers in the hall.
“It was a horrible sight to behold. I wish I didn’t come out to watch the match. Come to think of it, I have DStv decoder at home but I enjoy watching matches at viewing centres. I could have been dead. I can’t believe that the people I was chatting and joking with a few minutes earlier are all gone in a most anguishing way. This world is vain.”
A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said more than eighty persons were in the hall when the cable came down.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Cross River State Command, Irene Ugbo, confirmed the incident to The Punch.
She said the number of casualties would be confirmed on Friday.
Manchester United reached the Europa League semi-finals for the first time after beating Anderlecht 2-1 on Thursday.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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