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Rain storm kills 5, injures Catholic Priest, others in Jalingo


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No fewer than five people were killed and many others sustained various degrees of injuries by windstorm in Jalingo, Taraba State on Saturday morning.

The windstorm also destroyed several houses, offices, schools, police officers Mess, worship places among others.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state ASP David Misal confirmed the incident to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jalingo.

“Yes we can confirm that four people died opposite the Specialist Hospital, Jalingo when a mast fell on them due to the rain storm, ” he said.

He said with the level of destruction, it is possible that more people might be affected.

Dr Dashe Dasogot, Chairman Medical Advisory Committee of the Taraba Specialist Hospital, Jalingo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that five corpses were brought to the morgue of the hospital after the rainstorm.

Dasogot, who showed NAN the affected buildings and trees in the hospital, added that two persons with various degrees of injuries were receiving treatment at the emergency unit of the hospital.

“Four of the dead were from a GLO mast that fell opposite the gate of our hospital here and one other was brought from the town,” he said.

An eyewitness, Mrs Henrietta Anthony, told NAN that three of her cousins, Aisha Useni, Felicia Istifanus and Istiah James, were among the four people that were killed when a telecommunication mast fell on them during the rainstorm.

Anthony, who operates a restaurant, opposite the gate of the hospital explained that her cousins left the house early for work in the restaurant when the incident occurred.

“They finished cooking and were already to sell food to customers around 6:00 am, when the rainstorm fell the mast behind the restaurant.

“Three of them, including a customer, a driver to the state Commissioner for Water Resource, Mr Emmanuel Gowon, who came to buy food died instantly.

“Miss Konah Danjuma, who was also in the shop, sustained shoulder and head injuries,” she said.

The Director of Communications of the Catholic Diocese of Jalingo, Rev. Fr. John Jerome, also told NAN that the Chaplain of St. Thomas Aquinas Chaplaincy, Taraba State University, Jalingo, Rev. Fr. Pontianus Jaffla and seven university students sustained injuries when the temporary shelter serving as church fell on them.

Jerome said that the priest and students of the University were in the morning Mass when the church collapsed due to a heavy storm that accompanied the early morning rain.

“Rev. Fr. Pontianus sustained a head injury and was treated at the Federal Medical Centre Jalingo and discharged.

“One of the students was also treated and discharged but the remaining six are still receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre, Jalingo,” he said.

NAN also recalls that the first rain in Jalingo two weeks ago was also accompanied by rainstorm and destroyed many property, especially at the Taraba State University.

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