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Monday, 12 October 2015

Rock Crushes Woman, 2 Children, Grandchild To Death


Tragedy struck late Friday night in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, when a huge rock tipped off its base and rammed into a room and parlour apartment at Oke Ola Street, Iberekodo, crushing four family members.


Mrs Silifat Lawal, her two children Rasheedat, 15, Semia, 4, and a grandchild, Sukurat, according to neighbours, had their dinner and went to bed earlier than usual as a result of heavy rain which came with storm for and lasted for the better part of the afternoon.
Unfortunately at about 9pm, a huge rock which had been sitting a distance to the building for over eight years, tumbled off its base as a result of soft ground occasioned by the heavy downpour and headed for the room of the Lawals, who got crushed by the moving rock.
Mrs Khadijat Adegoke, a neighbour, who said the sound of the impact was compromised by the heavy rain, explained that neighbours got to know when the husband, Mr Ismail Lawal, rushed out and shouted for help.
According to her, neighbours rushed to the scene but could do nothing as the victims had already been crushed to death.
“The incident occured around 9pm. The rain which started at about 5pmwas very heavy. When the rock shifted and crushed them, we didn’t hear because of the sound of the rain until the father came out shouting and we rushed there only to find out that all four of them had been crushed to death.
“The father was sleeping in the sitting room. That was why he escaped with another daughter,” she narrated.
At the scene on Saturday morning, sympathisers thronged the place and men were seen digging four graves for the deceased while Mr Lawal alongside his surviving daughter, Rafia, had been taken to a different house in the neighbourhood for close observation.
The father, a driver, who neighbours described as an easy going person, was too distraught to speak to our correspondent. He couldn’t utter a word before he was whisked, after much persuasion, to a private hospital.
Another neighbour who claimed to be a building expert described the incident as unfortunate and pointed out that it was wrong for people to build their homes close to hanging rocks.
He said, “what happened is terrible. People shouldn’t die like that. That house stands too close to the cluster of rocks overhanging the neighbourhood. People should take safety issues seriously. Many believe that rocks don’t shift. That’s incorrect as this unfortunate incident has shown.
“Those whose houses are next should be careful. These rocks will shift again, it’s a matter of time.”
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