By Eseoghene Emuke
A former councilor and brother to Prof Amos Utuama, the immediate past Deputy Governor of Delta State, Hon. Matthew Utuama and two other persons have been reportedly struck dead by thunderstorm.
The incident took place at Osieta Avenue in Otu-Jeremi, Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State on Tuesday.
It was gathered that the incident occurred at about 4pm during a downpour.
The victims were identified as Mr. Matthew Utuama, Gabriel Emeruo Djoma and a Mechanic. I was gathered that the victims were transacting business when tragedy struck.
The mysterious thunder also left one other person injured, sources told WARRI TODAY on Wednesday.
It was gathered that the trio were waiting under a building for the rain to subside when the thunderstorm struck and killed three of them on the spot.
According to them, the unidentified mechanic had just visited the community from Onitsha to repair a tipper engine reportedly owned by one of the deceased.
“Three persons were waiting for the heavy downpour to subside when they were hit by the thunder. Nobody knows how it happened but three of them were found on the floor dead.
“One of the victims who only sustained injury at a nearby building was the one who drew the attention of neighbours to the incident. The survivor was hit on his back. A friend who accompanied the mechanic was not injured.”
Another community source told WARRI TODAY, “It was a stormy, thunderous rain at the time. At his Osieta Avenue Compound In Jeremi, Oghenemeruo, Utuama and the mechanic invited from Onitsha, Anambra state were battling to fix on of his broken down tippers.
“Strangely, lightening struck and that was it. All three of them died in spite spirited communal efforts to save them. I have heard tales of fatal lightening. I could not have imagined its impact could kill three grown men in one strike.”
The corpses of Utuama and Djoma had been deposited at the morgue of Otu-Jeremi General Hospital.
The corpse of the unknown mechanic had been taken to Onitsha for burial.
A police source at the Otu-Jeremi Divisional Police Headquarters confirmed the incident to our correspondent when contacted.
The police, who described the incident as shocking, noted that the matter was being investigated.
However, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Chuks Oresewezie, when contacted said he has not been briefed on the incident.