Tree crushes four Oyo traders to death during downpour

No fewer than four people have been confirmed dead after a downpour at the Idi Odan, Sabo, in the Atiba Local Government Area of Oyo State.

It was gathered that the victims, who were mostly traders at the Sabo Market, had taken cover under a tree when the rain started around 4pm on Monday.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the tree suddenly fell and trapped the people under it.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the ancient Odan tree was about 100 years old and provided shade for people with its far-spreading branches at the foodstuff market.

The Chairman of the market, Akeebu Alarape, said four different loggers invited to cut the tree did not succeed until a fifth logger was able to cut parts of it for rescue operation to begin.

The Head of Operations of the Western Nigeria Security Network, aka Amotekun Corps, in the Atiba area, Akeem Ojo, told NAN that the tree fell on the victims around 6pm.

“A female student of the Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo, a woman with a baby strapped to her back and a boy she was holding, were pulled out from under the tree.

“One person was seriously injured and taken to a private hospital in the area, while motorcycle and mini bus parks under the tree were damaged,” Ojo added.

A resident, who narrated the incident on a social media platform, Nairaland, claimed that nine people were killed.

He wrote, “The rain started all of a sudden and some people that couldn’t catch up with the last bus went to sit under a huge tree where a meat seller sells his meat not knowing that will be their end. As it was raining, though not heavy, all of a sudden, a breeze started blowing, carrying house roofs, fuel station canopy away, and as if that wasn’t enough, the tree where some market women and their children were sitting fell all of a sudden and crushed about nine of them to death instantly.”

The Chairman, Sooro Local Council Development Area, Oke-Isiwin, Seun Oguntona, said those trading under the tree would be relocated.

The Oyo State Police Public Relations Officer, Adewale Osifeso, said four people died.

“After the incident was reported, police operatives were immediately deployed in the scene to forestall breakdown of law and order,” he added. PUNCH

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