By Mike Osarogiagbon
BENIN CITY – Reconstruction work on Upper Siluko Road by Teachers House in Benin City was suspended yesterday when a middle-aged man was knocked down by a grader working on the road.
The yet-to-be identified man allegedly cut the caution tape stretched on both sides of the road by the construction firm (Hitech) construction Company before being hit by the heavy duty grader which was on reverse.
The unfortunate incident occurred at about 11:45 am as the victim died while being taken to the hospital.
When The NIGERIAN OBSERVER visited the scene few minutes after the accident, social and economic activities in the area were momentarily halted as witnesses wept uncontrollably at the sight of the victim.
Hitech workers sighted around the accident scene were sorrowful and dumb-founded as armed soldiers and policemen provided water-tight security.
Witnesses wondered what pushed the deceased to cross the caution tape, entered the portion of the road under reconstruction, ignored the reserve alarm of the grader which accidentally knocked him down.
They further alleged that the man was on the telephone as he crossed the caution tape part of which was still intact when The NIGERIAN OSBERVER visited.
Contacted, the project Manager, Hitech Construction Company Mr. Sachin Rawsunder stated that the community and members of the public are aware that Hitech had been handling the road project for the past three years.
Sachin stated that before they commenced work on the site yesterday morning, the road was fully cautioned as the victim destroyed their caution tape and went behind a reverse heavy duty grader which knocked him down.
He added that “we were preparing to put asphalt, the grader has reverse alarm, he went behind the heavy duty machine that cannot just stop like that, it’s like he had a plan.
“We stopped working today, by tomorrow we will go back to work.” Mr. Sachin however, expressed sadness over the death of the man.
The incident was swiftly reported at Ogida Police Station.