BEDC staff electrocuted two days to wedding

The death of a field worker with the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), in Asaba, Delta State two days before he was billed to wed, has thrown his family into mourning.

Thirty five year-old Bright Abunwaeze, was electrocuted last night while he was attempting to fix a faulty 450 KVA high tension wire at Nnebisi Road, close to the Service Unit in Asaba, capital of the state.

But in a twist, the police in Asaba have apprehended five members of the family of the deceased for allegedly protesting and threatening to burn down the BEDC office in Asaba.

Two other members of staff of the company who were at the scene reportedly took to their heels when the tragedy struck in an operation that was said to have taken place late in the night.

Abunwaeze, according to his relatives, was scheduled to wed tomorrow (Valentines’ day) and had already concluded preparations for the ceremony.

A relative of the deceased, Mr. Sam Anukwu lamented that apart from the fact that the victim was supposed to wed on February 14, 2015, his father, a former staff of the same company, had also died while on official duty six years ago.

“We saw three BEDC staff when they came with a Hilux van at about 8:00 pm and started climbing up. We were wondering why they were working at that time.

“Few minutes later, we saw light sparking at the top of the pole where the man was working. Later, the man was struck and hung at the top and later fell down, his hand was burnt, and smoke was coming out from his nose and ear, eventually his head burst,” Anukwu said.

Mrs Esther Okolie, Asaba Business District Public Relations Officer of the BEDC, described the death of Abunwaeze as a big loss to the company.

She noted that the deceased was one of the most dedicated employees of the company, stating that investigation was ongoing to unravel how a high tension wire that was without electric current could electrocute the staff.

She explained that the control room had confirmed that the line was dead before the deceased climbed the pole to carry out the repair.

The Delta State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mrs. Celestina Kalu, who confirmed the incident, said the five relations of the deceased were detained for attempting to commit arson.

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