16th August, 2021
By Chukwuemeka Opara/Abakaliki
Efforts to pull out a bus that plunged into an abandoned salt mining pit in Abakaliki, Ebonyi capital will resume today, 48 hours after the accident.
The yet to be identified bus, packed with passengers, plunged into the pit on Saturday.
Immediate efforts to rescue the passengers failed due to poor visibility as the incident happened in the evening.
NAN correspondent who was at the scene of the rescue operation on Sunday at Enyigba in Abakaliki, reports that efforts by the crane provided by the state government failed as the pit was water-logged.
Governor Dave Umahi who visited the scene, was seen supervising the rescue operations and dishing out instructions on how to save the unverified passengers trapped in the pit.
The governor was accompanied to the scene by the Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Aliyu Garba, heads of other security agencies and top government officials.
Scores of people who came to watch the rescue efforts were disappointed when the crane could not pull the bus out of the flooded pit.
DSP Loveth Odah, the Police command’s Public Relations Officer in Ebonyi told NAN that rescue efforts would continue today.
“All efforts made to retrieve the vehicle failed as it remains unidentified with the passengers inside it.
“We are still hoping for the best and urge the people to remain calm,” she said.
Chief Stephen Orogwu, Chairman of neighbouring Ikwo LGA of the state described the incident as unfortunate, noting that the marshy terrain of the area made rescue efforts difficult.
“The pit is several feet beneath the ground as local, external and construction experts have been contracted to retrieve the vehicle,” he said.
An eye witness who spoke under the condition of anonymity had earlier told NAN that he was driving behind the vehicle when it suddenly veered from the road and plunged into the pit.