Tragedy struck the Mgboaba/NTA area of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area in Rivers State as an attempted theft of an armoured cable from a transformer ended fatally. An unidentified young man, reportedly seeking to steal the cable during a blackout, was electrocuted when power was unexpectedly restored, trapping him at the scene.

According to eyewitnesses who spoke anonymously, the incident occurred around 3 am near a prominent new generation church in the area. Residents initially mistook the loud sound from the transformer for routine noises but discovered the grim reality later in the morning.

“He was severely burnt, with his entire body turned black,” one eyewitness recounted, describing the gruesome aftermath of the electrocution. “We found his lifeless body at the scene. It was a shocking sight.”

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Further details revealed that the deceased was known locally for selling water in the neighborhood. “He used to sell water to people around this area,” stated Chika, another eyewitness, indicating that the man was a familiar figure within the community.

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Upon alerting the authorities, police officials and personnel from the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company swiftly responded. They removed the remains of the deceased from the scene for further investigation and proper handling.

Grace Iringe-Koko, spokesperson for the Rivers State Police Command, acknowledged the incident but was yet to provide further details pending confirmation from the Divisional Police Officer. The tragic event has stirred emotions among residents and highlighted the dangers associated with attempting to steal live electrical cables.

Electrical infrastructure theft remains a persistent issue in many communities, driven by economic desperation despite the inherent risks. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the lethal consequences such actions can yield, not only endangering the perpetrators but also impacting the safety and reliability of local power supply.

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As investigations continue, community members and authorities alike hope to prevent future incidents through enhanced security measures and public awareness campaigns about the hazards of tampering with electrical equipment.