Local media in Nigeria has reported that more than 30 soccer fans died on Thursday night while watching the Europa League match between Manchester United and Anderlecht at a game center in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
The victims according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) died of electrocution with some 50 others sustaining injuries.
Officials blamed the incident on an exploded transformer in the area during the match with high tension wire snapping and dropping on the viewing centre.
Our thoughts go out to the United fans, their friends and families affected by the tragedy in Calabar, Nigeria, yesterday. pic.twitter.com/WGnHAxpjMV
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 21, 2017
One eyewitness was quoted by the News Agency of Nigeria as saying that “We were all inside watching the match when we heard the first explosion from the transformer; the heavy sound caused panic because some people shouted and ran out.”
“After a while, we came back into the viewing centre to continue with the match. Shortly, we heard another heavy sound and when some people tried to run away from the centre, they were affected,” the eyewitness added.
According to the eyewitness account, over 50 people escaped death because they stood by the door watching the game.
High tension drops, kills over 30
who were watching MANUTD Vs
in a building along Akpandem Street, Atimbo calabar
— Uwemedimo Ekeng (@Eb_Ekeng) April 20, 2017
A policewoman ASP Irene Ugbo confirmed the incident to local media and said in an interview that “We have heard of the incident, some of the people were rushed to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital for treatment.”
Manchester United won the said match by beating Anderlecht to reach the semi-finals of the Europa League competition.