Thirty-one persons, including two sisters, were killed when a tree at the Ukwu Uko evening market at Umuejinwaoke Umudagu village, Mbieri, Mbaitolu Local Government Area of Imo State, fell on them.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that 16 other victims sustained varying degrees of injury during the incident, which was caused by a rainstorm on Thursday night.
A resident of the community, Mr. Nnaemeka Emenyonu, told NAN in Owerri that the tree fell on the affected persons about 8:00 pm.
He said the tree also destroyed the village hall.
“The big tree fell suddenly, killing 31 people on the spot and injuring 16 others. Those injured were taken to the hospital.
“The victims include two sisters, who were selling tomatoes. Honestly, this is the saddest event in the history of our community,” he said.
The traditional ruler of the community, Eze Godwin Duru, lamented that such a tragic incident had never occurred in the community.
“I do not know what to say. God, what can we call this? My people were destroyed within a twinkle of an eye, what a pity,” he said.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mrs. Joy Elemoko, declined comment on the incident after several efforts to get the command’s reaction to the issue.