About 10 traders reportedly died and many more sustained injuries after they were swept away by flood on Saturday, September 5, in Upper Iweka area of Onitsha.
The victims fell into a drainage channel while attempting to cross over to the highway. It was reported that they were standing on a wooden bridge when the plank gave way and they fell into the flood water.
According to PM News, the traders constructed the bridge themselves to connect them to where they displayed their wares to attract more customers.
Emman Ejike, an eyewitness narrated that on the fateful afternoon, the traders had stood on the weakened plank while it rained. When the plank broke, the traders fell into the fast moving water.
It was reported that by the time the victims were rescued, about 10 traders had drowned while others who sustained varying degrees of injury were taken to the Ontisha General Hospital for treatment.
Residents in the area blamed the government for leaving the drainage unattended to. Luke Ikoku, a resident said the place was always busy due to trading and that the government should have made provision for making it safe.
Some traders however blamed their counterparts whom they felt turned deaf ears to the warning not to use the place to sell their wares. They said they had been pursued by officials to vacate the place but some still kept coming back.
The police confirmed the incident and said the bodies were in the hospital for autopsy.
In a another incident, flood in Kanu claimed the lives of several people after a torrential rain destroyed were houses and farmland in many communities in the state.