Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, experienced an early morning rainstorm on Saturday which reportedly killed five people and injured many others.
Dr Dashe Dasogot, Chairman Medical Advisory Committee of the Taraba Specialist Hospital, Jalingo, confirming the report, said that five corpses were brought into the hospital morgue after the rainstorm.
“Four of the dead were from a GLO mast that fell opposite the gate of our hospital here, and one other was brought from the town,” he said.
Mrs Heriata Anthony, who witnessed the incident, told journalists that three of her cousins, Aisha Useni, Felicia Istifanus and Istiah James, were among the four persons that were killed when a telecommunication mast fell on them during the rainstorm.
Anthony, who operates a restaurant opposite the gate of the specialist hospital, explained that her cousins left the house early for work in the restaurant when the incident occured.
“They finished cooking and were already selling food to customers around 6:00 a.m. when the rainstorm forced the mast behind the restaurant to fall on them,” she narrated.
“Three of them, including a customer, a driver to the State Commissioner for Water Resource, Mr Emmanuel Gowon, who came to buy food, died instantly. While Miss Konah Danjuma, who was also in the shop, sustained shoulder and head injuries,” the witness said.
Meanwhile, at the Taraba State University, Director of Communications, Catholic Diocese of Jalingo, Rev Fr John Jerome confirmed that the Chaplain of St Thomas Aquinas Chaplaincy, Rev Fr Pontianus Jaffla, and seven undergraduates, sustained injuries when the temporary shelter serving as the church fell on them.
Jerome said that the priest and students of the University were at morning Mass when the church collapsed due to the heavy rainstorm.
“Rev Fr Pontianus, who sustained a head injury, and one other student were treated at the Federal Medical Center Jalingo and discharged; but the remaining six are still receiving treatment at the same hospital,” said Jerome, giving an account of the incident.
The rainstorm affected several places in town, including several houses, offices, schools, police officers mess, NYSC orientation camp, and other places.