Tragedy struck in the Umuezeala Nsu community, Ehime Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State on Saturday when a cannon exploded and killed a deacon on the eve of a festival in the community.
An indigene of the community told our correspondent on Sunday that the 52 -year-old deacon, a native of Umualumaku in the same council area, had come late to the venue of the Mbomuzo festival and set the cannons in preparation for the event .
The source identified as Ben, said, “The man came late and an altercation ensued between him and the youth of the village , who accused him not taking the job of setting the cannons seriously .
“ In anger , the embittered youths pulled out some of the cannons from the ground , while the man warned that it was culturally wrong to dismantle cannons set for a festival .”
Another source , simply identified as Nwokeiwu , told Southern City News that after the altercation , the victim, popularly known as Kabaka , went back to reset the cannons .
Nwokeiwu added that while most of the cannons exploded to the happiness of the youth and elders in the community, one refused to go off.
It was , however, gathered that the victim, who became curious as to why only one of the cannon did not explode, went immediately to check the fault.
Nwokeiwu stated that the cannon exploded immediately the victim got close to it , adding that the impact threw him two poles away from the point of explosion.
He said , “The cannons were about 100 and the significance is that once they explode, they herald the Mbomuzo festival , which takes place the next day.
“ Other cannons exploded , but only one refused to explode. The victim, who was in charge of setting the cannons , went close to find out why it didn’ t explode.
“ Tragedy struck when he touched the unexploded cannon, which exploded and threw him two poles away from the point and killed him instantly . It was tragic and very sad.