Tragedy struck, on Tuesday 27th March 2012, the Tipper National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) Agbor branch, as one of its member and a loader were buried alive when a borrow pit caved in and collapsed on them at a sand quarry site at Owa-Ofie along Agbor/Warri road, Owanta in Ika North-East Local Government Area of Delta State.
The victims whose names were given as Mr. Iwerinwa Ebite, popularly known as General, a native of Ogbe-Nta, Ogbemudein, Agbor and the labourer Friday Obianke from Agbor-Nta were said to have gone to the quarry site on Tuesday March 27th, 2012 to load sand for prospective buyers but did not return.
An eye- witness account revealed that the late Iwerinwa Ebite and Friday, entered to have their tipper filled with sand inside the borrow pit, when a portion of the pit suddenly collapsed and buried both of them alive, adding that before the rescue operators could remove the heap of the sand that covered them, they had both died .
Speaking to newsmen at the scene, the treasurer of Tipper National Union, Mr. Anthony Ijeamaka said that a similar incident occurred on Friday June 8, 2007 at Ogan, when a borrow – pit collapsed and killed one of their members, and even recently such cases have also been reported.
According to Mr. Anthony Ijeamaka, the horrible incident at the borrow site has become a source of fear and worry to members of Tipper National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW)
He appealed to Delta State Government and the owners of the site to make provision for a pay loader hat will level the sand at the site, in order to ensure the safety of lives of their members.
The driver’s motor boy, Tony Osajie, who escaped the ugly incident, told newsmen that he was supposed to be at the site with Mr. Iwerinwa but, as God may have it, he was sent on an errand and on his return to the site, he discovered that the sand has collapsed on his oga.
He expressed pain and agonies about the death of his master and the loader. In all, he thanked God for spearing his life and prayed God to receive the souls of the two dead persons.
The father of late Friday Obianke Iduh, Mr. J.N Iduh, said that his son is at his prime age of 45 years and has six children. He said he is begging the government, well entrenched individuals and the Tipper National Union of Road Transport Worker to come to their aid and save the family from pain and agonies.
Also speaking to newsmen at her resident at N0 9, Upper Queen Street, Agbor, the widow of late Friday Obianke, Mrs. Beatrice Iduh, pleaded with the members of Tipper National Union of Road Transport Workers not to abandon her but to help her take care of the six children her husband left behind.
The bodies of late Mr. Iweriwan Ebite and Friday have been deposited at Central Hospital mortuary.
However, it could be recalled that similar event happened at the borrow pit on January 29th, 2010 when the Tipper of Com. Ndidi Okoagbor was buried by the pit. Though no life was lost, the tipper was damaged beyond repair. Speaking with newsmen soon after Tuesday incident, Com. Okoagbor appealed to all borrow pit owners in Ika land to secure the service of a standby pay loader that will be loading the sand as the pit is too high for hand loading. He said if this is not done more lives would be lost in the future.
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