Seven people died in city of Calabar, located in southern Nigeria, after a high-tension electric cable fell on the rooftop of a crowded shack, where they had gathered to watch a football match on TV.
Cross River State police say the victims — all of them men — were electrocuted on Thursday at a commercial viewing center while watching an Europa Football League match between English side Manchester United and Anderlecht of Belgium, Premium Times reports.
Police spokesperson Irene Ugbo told reporters that the unfortunate victims died on the spot at about 10 p.m. local time, adding that the incident also left 10 persons seriously injured.
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Ugbo also said the injured persons are currently receiving treatment at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital.
“We have one person in the intensive care in the hospital,” Ugbo said.
Eyewitnesses say at least 80 football fans were packed in to the makeshift building constructed of corrugated zinc sheets. They reportedly heard a loud explosion from a faulty nearby electrical transformer, which apparently caused the cable to snap and fall on top of the largely metallic structure.
Dozens managed to escape but a few were unlucky and died of electrocution.
Following the news of the incident, Manchester United issued its condolences on Twitter, writing:
Our thoughts go out to the United fans, their friends and families affected by the tragedy in Calabar, Nigeria, yesterday. pic.twitter.com/WGnHAxpjMV
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 21, 2017
The United Kingdom’s High Commission in Nigeria also tweeted its “deepest sympathy” for the loss of lives.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari issued a statement throught his media aide Garba Shehu, saying he was shocked and saddened by the death of the young men, which has surely come as a big blow to their immediate families and the nation at large.
With several African players plying their trade in the English top flight, top Premiership football teams enjoy a massive following from millions of Nigerian youths.