The Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) says it has commenced full investigation to unravel the remote and immediate causes of the electrocution of seven people in a television viewing centre in Calabar on Thursday.
The Chief Electrical Inspector of the Federation, Mr Peter Ewesor, announced this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday.
The police said seven people died while 11 were hospitalised after a high tension electric cable fell on a zinc structure where football fans were watching Manchester United in a Europa quarter finals match against Anderlecht.
The incident happened at around 9.30 p.m. at Nyagasang area of Atimbo in Calabar Municipal Local Government Area of the state.
Ewesor, who is also the Managing Director of the agency, described the incident as “unfortunate’’.
“Our field engineers are already there. I am equally on the way to the place now for us to go and find out actually what happened, how it happened and how we can prevent future occurrence.
“Presently, we are mourning with the family of the diseased; however, we will be able to make concrete statement to the nation after the investigation.
“When things like this happen, as painful as they are, we should be on guard to prevent further occurrences,’’ he said.
He said the investigation would assist the agency to find out what led to the mishap.
He said NEMSA had always been sincere with investigation of this nature.
According to him, the agency’s report on a similar incident that killed a student of University of Lagos recently remains transparent.
“ You remember the issue that happened in university of Lagos; it was equally a similar thing when the breakable cable dropped directly on a female student of the institution.
“We were able to make a firm statement at that time, after we had visited and reviewed the incidence and carried out our test,’’ he said.
Ewesor, however, said NEMSA had initiated measures to avert electrical accidents in the country.
“For us to prevent this kind of situation, we had actually given so many instructions and directive to the industry in the area of using quality and standard electrical materials,’’ he said.
According to him, the use of sub-standard materials contributes to electrical accidents.
He also said non adherence to rules on electrical installation by professionals and consumers were responsible for some of the electrical accidents.
He said staff in its 17 field offices had been involved in monitoring and evaluation of existing networks across the country.
“They go round the network to see those ones that are in bad shape which we call high risk network that are about to cause accident.
“ When we discover that, we do a memo to the DISCO concern for appropriate steps to remedy the situation,’’ Ewesor said.
He said NEMSA had been encouraging the DISCOs to embark on standard construction of electrical installations and the need to monitor their network.
Ewesor said it was better for operators to spend their money to repair damaged network than to spend the money to pay compensation.