About 30 football fans, believed to be supporters of Manchester United, were electrocuted when a high-voltage electrical pole fell on a viewing centre.
The fans had gathered at the viewing centre in the Atimbo area of Calabar, the Cross River State capital, to watch the UEFA Europa League quarterfinal second leg between Manchester United and Anderlecht.
The fans were reportedly electrocuted when the electrical pole broke from its mooring and fell on the viewing centre. No official figures have been given but eyewitnesses estimate the number of dead to be 30.
State Police Public Relations Officer ASP Irene Ugbo confirmed the incident to News Agency of Nigeria (as per All-Africa News), saying: “We have heard of the incident, some of the people were rushed to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital for treatment.”
A survivor explained what happened inside the viewing centre, telling NAN: “We were all inside watching the match when we heard the first strike from the transformer; the heavy sound caused panic because some people shouted and ran out.
“After a while, we came back into the viewing centre to continue with the match. Shortly, we heard another sound heavy sound and when some people tried to run away from the centre, they were affected. Over 50 of us escaped dead yesterday because we were standing by the door watching the game.”
Manchester United have sent condolences to the families of the victims, writing on their Twitter page: “Our thoughts go out to the United fans, their friends and families affected by the tragedy in Calabar, Nigeria, yesterday.”
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