Michael Gabriel, Port Harcourt
Scores of desperate and hungry residents of Rivers State on Thursday rushed to an accident scene at UTC Junction, Port Harcourt, to scramble for spilled spaghetti.
The residents were not bothered about victims of the accident involving a trailer loaded with cartons of IRS Pasta and a mini bus as they struggled to help themselves with the noodles.
The residents rushed to the scene with different sizes of bags and began to pack the pieces of noodles that littered the ground as they complained of hunger.
The truck was on its way to deliver the spaghetti when it was involved in the accident that damaged the blue van beyond repairs.
Despite the police checkpoint located in the area, the residents jostled and pushed one another for their share of what they described as manna from heaven.
Persons involved in the struggle for the pasta ignored all the COVID-19 preventive measures of social distancing and wearing of face masks.
Some of them removed their shirts and used them to pack the spaghetti while others collected handfuls before leaving the scene.
A man, who refused to be identified, said the incident was divine, describing the spaghetti as “food palliatives.”
But officials of the company that manufactures IRS pasta later arrived at the accident scene escorted by security operatives to salvage some of the products.
He said, “God has remembered us to give us this food palliative. We have been hungry since this Coronavirus started. The lockdowns worsened our situation. But this morning, following the accident involving a truck and a van, we saw spaghetti all over the road.
“Half of the content of the truck was emptied on the road. The packs of the noodles burst and we see prices of the noodles on the ground. In fact, we had heaps of spaghetti and all we did was to pack them. It will go a long way to help us deal with the Coronavirus hunger.”
A child, who was also involved in the scramble, said he discovered the scene while running errands for his parents.
The child, who identified himself simply as Emeka, said his parents would be happy with some of the spaghetti he gathered at the scene.
Security operatives later dispersed the crowd and cordoned off the area.