From IKECHUKWU ODU, Enugu
Tragedy struck at Obimo community in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State yesterday when two sand miners were trapped to their untimely death while loading a tipper lorry at a mining site.
While one of the victims, Emmanuel Ugwuoke, was confirmed dead on arrival at Faith Foundation Hospital in Nsukka metropolis, the second victim, identified as Onyemaechi was still trapped in the sand as at the time of filing this report.
The driver of the lorry was also severely injured and was rushed to Enugu for ultrasound checks.
AbeyaNews gathered that while the victims were digging for sand at the foot of a hill located at Eka-Utara Obimo for sharp sand, part of it caved in and trapped them.
At the Faith Foundation Hospital, some of the co-labourers mostly in their early 20’s could not control their emotion as they cried uncontrollably when the remains of Ugwuoke was taken from the hospital for burial at his country home, Ajuona, also in Obimo.
Reacting to the incident, one of the labourers,
Sunday Okoro told AbeyaNews that he could not believe that Ugwuoke who was discussing with him in the morning before the incident was gone forever, describing the incident as the “mother of all tragedies.”
According to him, the hill where the incident happened is haunted by evil an spirit, which claims lives of labourers on a yearly basis.
“It is not up to six months that village elders appeased the spirit with a cow because they learned that it was threatening to take two lives. I am surprised that this happened even after the rituals,” Okoro agonised.
Similarly, two labourers were allegedly electrocuted at a Chinese charcoal factory, Okwo-Chief, which is just a stone-throw from where the mining mishap happened.
Though information on the incident is sketchy, a labourer in the factory who asked not to be named said the victims were removing charcoal from one of the ovens used in burning woods into charcoal when electrical complications occurred, leading to their immediate demise.
AbeyaNews gathered that Okwo-Chief is notorious for deforestation and cheap labour. The labourers earn N1,000 after off-loading charcoal from an oven amidst thick smoke and other attendant health risks.
Some of the female labourers in the factory were alleged to have taken to prostitution in order to make ends meet.