How overhead tank collapsed, killed Enugu-born teacher in Benin City

Had the family of Joy Amadi, a 34-year-old teacher, possessed any inkling of the unfortunate destiny awaiting her, they might have encouraged her to attend her school even on her scheduled day off.

Miss Amadi was a teacher at Russell Primary and Secondary School Benin City, but did not go to school on August 4 because she had no class that day.

She was in her room when an overhead water tank erected in the neighbouring compound collapsed, penetrating the roofing sheet of their apartment and fell on her.

Mrs Beatrice Amadi, late Joy’s mother, who spoke with Daily Trust Saturday, amid tears, said she was yet to recover from the shock of losing her daughter who meant the world to her.

She said the late Joy did not have lessons to teach in school throughout the day and so was inside the room helping her to shell melon when the tragedy struck.

Mrs Amadi said the death of her daughter was devastating and has left a vacuum in the family, which would be difficult to fill.

“I was with my daughter at home on that faithful day, because she didn’t go to work. She said I should bring out my melon for her to shell so that I can sell and get money.

“She soaked the melon and went to Ramat Park to buy ingredients for cooking. When she came back, she cooked and we all ate, and after eating, she started shelling the melon.

“I was outside when I heard a loud noise and then some children started calling me that the water tank from our neighbour’s compound had fallen on my apartment. I quickly rushed there, and was shouting my daughter’s name who was inside the room but there was no response. I tried to open the door but couldn’t as the door had already jammed due to the impact of the collapsed tank.

“People broke the door but we could not see her, so we started packing the ceiling, woods and blocks, only to find her under the rubbles.

“We rushed her to the hospital but the doctor confirmed her dead. I am devastated and will miss my daughter a lot. She is everything to me; she does all the domestic work. Since she grew up, I have never washed clothes, plate, swept or mopped the house, she does all these things for me. It will be difficult to live without my daughter,” the grieving mother said.

The deceased’s father, Mr Michael Amadi, said he was yet to come to terms with the fact that his daughter, who is everything in the family, is no more.

Mr Amadi who hails from Affa, Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State and has been living in Benin since 1979, said “I was at work when I received a distressed call that I should come home immediately without letting me know what happened.

“It was my wife that first called and was crying but I couldn’t hear what she was saying. After a while, my neighbour called me to come home immediately, so I ran home and met a crowd in the house but my car was not there.

“As I entered the compound, I saw the overhead tank on my apartment and the first thing I asked was: where is my wife and daughter? I was told that they were at the hospital. I went to the hospital only to find my daughter’s lifeless body.

“Joy is my fourth child. She is very intelligent and obedient. She does all the domestic chores despite being a graduate and employed.

“She is the one paying my house rent and has never given the family problems. It is like my whole world has crashed but we can’t question God.”

He said the owner of the house from where the overhead tank fell lives abroad but his family has come to commiserate, adding that the engineer who erected the overhead tank has been arrested by the police.

Mr Amadi told Daily Trust Saturday that his daughter graduated from the Ebonyi State Polytechnic and went for the National Youth Service Corps programme in 2014 in Plateau State.

“We’re making preparations to take her corpse to my home town for burial because in our tradition, we can’t bury any body who is above 18 years outside our ancestral home.”

Also speaking on the late Joy, the headmistress of her school, Oziegbe Maris, described her as a hard working and disciplined person.

“She teaches Business Study and Office Practice, and she has never given us trouble since we employed her.

“She is always punctual to school. If she wants to greet her senior, she would kneel down to greet them.

“I’ve known her since she was a child and she used to call me mummy. The school will really miss her.”


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