Tragedy struck at the Five Star Logistics Terminal in Tin-can Island Port in the early hours of this morning, when a pile of iron pipes being stacked up in rows, fell and rolled over a night-shift worker, killing him in the process.
The victim, identified as Mr. Pius Ita, a 62-year-old grandfather from Edo State, was a contract staff from another company, Good Intentions Ltd, working for Five Star Logistics.
The incident which occurred around 1 a:m left many friends and co-workers of the deceased dumbfounded, as there were no serious signs of activities going on in the Terminal earlier today when MMS Plus visited the scene of the accident.
According to witnesses, most of who spoke on condition of anonymity, the accident had likely occurred due to carelessness on the part of the crane operator, who may not have stacked the pipes properly. They revealed that the pipes were huge and heavy, such that the trucks that carry them could only carry three pipes at a time.
“So imagine dozens of pipes like this rolling over the chest of someone,” said an official at the entrance of the Terminal.
A colleague of the deceased said, “The case is between the company (Five Star Logistics) and the family of the victim. They’ve already sent for the family, and I am not entitled to speak to journalists about it. You know this matter involves death so I have to be careful before I put myself in trouble.”
Another co-worker, who identified himself as Michael Owolabi, lamented the incident and called on the management of Five Star to take measures at ensuring the safety and well-being of their employees.
Feeling obviously embittered, Owolabi asks rhetorically, “How can someone come to work and die like this? It’s unfair!”
Speaking further, Owolabi revealed that this is not the first time for accidents like this to happen. “Only last week, a similar accident like this happened and someone died. We’re so demoralized right now, that’s why you see that no one is working,” he said.
While confirming the incident, a police officer attached to the Roro Port Division of the Nigerian Police, Tin-Can Island, said that when the accident happened and the man died, the company (Five Star Logistics) had attempted to hide things from the police at first.
He said, “But they had no choice than to come back to us (the Police) when the hospital they took the body to insisted on getting a police report before admitting the body into the mortuary. Otherwise, we would not have known anything like that happen,” said the officer.
He added, “But I am not permitted to speak to you about this because it is a new case and things are still unfolding. We will get more fact between today and tomorrow. We have asked the company and the crane operator in question to put down their statements. Although no one has been arrested yet, we will do the necessary thing based on what our investigation reveals.”
In a related development, a 17-years-old girl was run over and crushed to death by a speeding truck right at the gate of Tin-Can Island this morning. The victim was said to be a popular food vendor around the premises of the Port, and it was alleged that the driver in question who killed her is even one of those who regularly bought food from her.
“It was an accident,” said an eyewitness, “no one expected for something like this to happen. The girl was just going about selling her food when the trailer came and crushed her. Maybe it was a failed break.”
The body of the victim was taken to the mortuary, but when MMS Plus enquired about the case at the Roro Police Division, it was learnt that the family of the girl had asked for the body to be brought back, so they can go and bury her in accordance to Muslim rites.
It was gathered that the driver fled after the accident, leaving his truck at the scene. “The truck is now with us,” said the police. “We will ensure the driver is arrested and charged to court appropriately.”
He however reiterated, “Like I said, I cannot divulge much to you because these cases just happened today, this morning and as you can see, we are very busy. Please don’t quote me for now. But after investigations, we shall have a better response concerning both incidents.”