TRAGEDY struck late Friday
night in Abeokuta, the Ogun
State capital, when a huge rock
fell and rammed into a room
and parlour apartment at Oke
Ola Street, Iberekodo crushing
four members of a family to
The victim, Mrs Silifat Lawal,
her two children Rasheedat,
15, Semia, 4 and a grandchild
Sukurat, were all crushed to
death after a heavy downpour
which caused the rock to fall.
A neighbour, who preferred
anonymity, told our
correspondent that the victims
had their dinner and went to
bed early as usual before the
According to him, the rock,
which had been sitting a distance
to the building built about eight
years ago, shifted from its base
during the downpour and
eventually fell and crushed the
family members to death.
Another neighbour, who
identified herself as Khadijat
Adegoke, explained that
neighbours got to know when
the husband, Mr. Ismail Lawal,
rushed out and shouted for help.
According to her, neighbours
rushed to the scene but could
do nothing as the victims had
already been crushed.
“The incident happened
around 9pm. The rain was very
heavy since 5pm. When the rock
shifted and crushed them, we
didn’t hear because of the sound
of the rain.
“The father came out shouting.
We rushed there only to find
out that all the four of them
had been crushed to death. The
father was sleeping in the sitting
room. That was why he escaped
with another daughter.
When Nigerian Pilot Sunday
visited the scene, it was
observed that four graves were
being dug for the deceased
while Mr. Lawal alongside his
surviving daughter Rafia were
taken to a different house in
the neighbourhood for close
The father, a driver, who is
described as an easy going
person, was too distraught to
speak to our correspondent as
he couldn’t utter a word before
he was whisked away, after
much persuasion, to a private
Another neighbour, who
claimed to be a building
contractor, described the
incident as unfortunate, but
however said it was wrong for
people to build their homes
close to hanging rocks.
“What happened is terrible.
People shouldn’t die like that.
That house stands too close to
the cluster of rocks overhanging
the neighbourhood.
“People should take safety
issues seriously. Many believe
that rocks don’t shift. That’s
incorrect as this unfortunate
incident has shown.
“Those whose houses are next
should be careful. These rocks
will shift again; it’s a matter of
time and weather conditions.”
Meanwhile, the heavy
downpour wrecked havoc on
property around the area as an
otherwise small river known as
Odo Iya Alaro, overflowed its
banks into homes taking away
household items as it moved