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Tragedy strikes family in Sekondi

BY: Dotsey Koblah Aklorbortu & Donabenger Cobinnah
One of the buildings affected by the rainstorm
One of the buildings affected by the rainstorm

Tragedy struck Ngyeresia, a fishing community in the Sekondi/Takoradi metropolis, last Friday evening when five young members of a family were crushed to death by a falling tree and another seriously injured in the process.

On a day that the rains poured down in torrents accompanied by strong winds, a huge tree was uprooted and fell on the compound house in which the deceased were sleeping, killing them in the process.

They were pronounced dead on arrival at the Essikado Government Hospital where neighbours had rushed them to although there were no visible injury marks on them.

The police identified the victims as Auntie Ama, 17, Ama Dekye, 13, Clement Arhin Jnr, nine, Emmanuel Annan, seven, and Beatrice Amoah, one.

The house is located in a valley and few metres from the hill at Ngyeresia, with the bamboo bush and huge trees overlooking it.

 Survivor

The only survivor, Clement Arhin, 11, sustained injury on the head and was receiving medical attention at the hospital as of Saturday, while the bodies of his siblings had been deposited at the Effia Nkwanta Regional Referral Hospital morgue in Sekondi.

 Residents said the giant tree and bamboos were uprooted following the rainstorm.

 At the time of the disaster, many residents were indoors as the rains poured heavily, and even though the falling tree crushed the building with a loud noise, rescue came late.

The police said the father of the children, Mr Isaac Kofi Amoah, confirmed the children were from his home.

Family traumatised

Mr Amoah and the surviving children appeared traumatised by the event when the Daily Graphic visited.

Apparently, the parents had secured a new and bigger accommodation for the family, and had packed some of their belongings into the new house when the rains started.

The Assemblyman for Ngyeresia, Mr James Amakye, told the Daily Graphic that as of the time of the disaster, the children were asleep except the survivor who was then watching television.

NADMO and RCC

The assemblyman appealed to the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) for support for the family and also for psychological counselling for Mr Amoah, the wife and the rest of the family.

The Western Regional Minister, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darku Mensah, said the Regional Coordinating Council, the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, and other agencies would support the family.
 
PDS substation

Indeed, the rains also flooded the Sekondi substation of the Power Distribution Service (PDS) which supplies power to most parts of Takoradi, forcing the company to switch off its equipment until late Saturday afternoon.