■ 5 others hospitalised, as govt. shuts facility
FROM PETRUS OBI, ENUGU
TWO sisters whose parents are currently in South Africa have been confirmed dead and five others hospitalised following a major accident that occurred at the popular Oakland Amusement Park Enugu.
The deceased Onyinyechi Ozumba (5) and Ebubechi Ozumba (8), all natives of Anambra State had joined other children at the park to catch fun before they met their untimely death.
The children, Daily Sun learnt were brought to Nigeria about a year ago to get acclimatised while their parents stayed back in South Africa.
Although the cause of the accident has not been confirmed, the owner of the park, Sir Odega Jideonwu told a government team set up to investigate the accident that the incident occurred while the children were riding on the Tea Cup ride, one of the facilities in the park.
Said he; “we had two casualties and four other children who sustained injuries. Right now, we cannot say exactly, what caused the accident.
“We have been operating the place for about four years and we had to undergo a lot of training and certification to have that park. We have a trained first aid experts and he was on hand to apply first aid but the injuries were so serious that we had to immediately evacuate the children to the hospital and that was done.
“I know what it means to be a father and I know what it takes to lose a child. It’s an extremely painful thing. I have been very disturbed. The entire management and staff of Oakland have been very disturbed. My children are disturbed, these are children of about the same age, and they are disturbed because it gets back to them. They were once in the same school with these children so it’s been a very tough time.”
Jideonwu however, dissociated himself from earlier media reports on the incident insisting that the company has not made an official statement on the tragedy.
The committee headed by the Commissioner for Enugu State Capital Development Authority, Hon. Chidi Aroh who visited the five injured children including the operator of the Tea Cup ride at the Niger Foundation Hospital, Enugu expressed happiness over their responses to treatment.
The commissioner described the incident as unfortunate and expressed concern that it happened at one of the most resourceful recreation centres in Enugu. He said that the facility had to be sealed up considering the number of children that visit the park on a daily basis.
Aroh noted that his committee had to visit the facility and all those injured and as well commiserate with the family that lost its children as directed by the governor.