A newly-wed plumber, Emeka Okpala, has met a cruel fate after he drowned while installing a pumping machine in a well on Oladogba Street in the Ikosi-Ketu area of Lagos State.
The 40-year-old Okpala who went to the neighbourhood to install a pumping machine fell inside the well as he tried to descend. It was gathered Okpala got the job after the first person contracted for it declined.
It was revealed that Okpala died because the person he went to work for did not raise alarm on time.
A neigbour in the area, Bilikisu Idris said this about the incident. She said, “Emeka (Okpala) was a very popular man on this street. He used to drive a BMW car, which he brought yesterday (Wednesday) to do the work. He was into all kinds of jobs and was very hardworking. He recently got wedded.
“The owner of the well wanted to install a submersible pumping machine. Those who were asked to do the job turned it down and said the well was old. When he was called, Emeka said he could do it since it was not his first time.
“He tied a rope to a generator and was descending the well when the generator fell on him in the well. He was crushed.”
It was a woman who later discovered the body of the late Okpala and raised alarm before inviting officials of the fire service.
Speaking further, a resident, Kunle Odunubi, said it took a long time before the victim could get help.
He said, “The firefighters brought him out of the well and took him in a car en route to a hospital.
“But by the time they got to Ketu, the man had given up the ghost. If somebody had raised the alarm early enough, maybe this would not have happened.”
The Director of the Lagos State Fire Service, Rasak Fadipe, confirmed the incident. He said, “Okpala wanted to install a pumping machine in the well when he got trapped. We received a distress call and the Alausa fire station responded. One of our fire officers, Salau, who led the rescue operation, recovered him dead.
“The corpse was handed over to the police from the Alapere division.”