Thirty one persons were killed when a tree at the Ukwu Uko evening market at Umuejinwaoke Umudagu village, Mbieri, Mbaitolu Local Government Area, Imo, fell on them.
16 others sustained degrees of injuries during the incident, which was caused by rainstorm on Thursday night.
A resident of the community, Mr Nnaemeka Emenyonu, said in Owerri that the tree fell on the affected persons around 8:00 p.m.
He said the tree also destroyed the village hall.
“The big tree fell suddenly on 31 people, who died at the spot and injured 16 others. Those injured were taken to hospital.
“The victims include two sisters, who sell tomatoes. Honestly, this is a saddest event in the history of our community,” he said.
The traditional ruler of the community, Eze Godwin Duru, lamented that such a tragic incident had never occurred in the community.
“I do not know what to say. God, what can we call this?, My people were destroyed within a twinkle of an eye. what a pity,” he said.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs Joy Elemoko, declined comment on the incident after several efforts to get the command’s reaction to the issue.