The first rain of the year which drenched the city of Calabar and environs in the wee hours of Saturday 26th January left in its trail a deluge of pain and anguish as many streets were flooded and clogged with debris; residential houses uncapped, electrical installations pulled down and bad visibility occasioned by putrid weather caused several road mishaps that claimed lives.
One pathetic instance was the case of an unidentified young man who died after his forehead was shattered when the vehicle he was traveling crashed unto a stationary Mack truck with Akwa Ibom registration number XA 304 AED which developed fault the previous day at the top of the Odukpani hill in the outskirts of Calabar at about 7am when the down pour was still heavy.
The body of the young man who was dressed in a suit with a red tie to match and was obviously heading to Calabar to attend a function was removed from the wreckage of the car at the accident scene and deposited at the mortuary by officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission who came to the scene of the accident after the rain had stopped at about 10 am.
A lady who boarded the ill-fated car along with the young man, Miss Blessing Osim said she boarded the vehicle at Ugep “and when entered the car the man was already sitting in front with another girl. I don’t know where he entered but the vehicle came from Obubra”.
She said the accident took place at about 7am when the rain was still falling and the visibility was poor and the driver could not see the truck which was parked on one of the outer lanes of the road atop the hill. “The driver did not see the truck parked here until he got too close to it and he could not stop the vehicle and ran into it” she said.
Apart from the unidentified young man, other commuters sustained injuries; some serious while some minor and were rushed to the hospital at the Odukpani Junction. “The car carried five of us and the girl that sat in front with the dead young man had a cut on her forehead and she complained of pains in her heart while the driver had a cut on his head”.
The rover car bearing Lagos registration number ML 854 KJA which was laden with plantain and personal goods was ransacked by hoodlums who got to the accident scene soon after it occurred and the pockets of the dead man were emptied of their content including phone and money which gave the Road Safety men a hard time in trying to locate where he came from or who he is in order to contact his family or employers.
The rains lefts streets like Target, IBB Way, Calabar Road, Murtala Mohammed Highway and several others flooded as the drainages have been blocked by residents who dump refuse in the drains.
Our reporters report that the entire city was still in darkness on Sunday afternoon as the rains devastated power installations.
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