MARCHY

Marshy terrain in Abakaliki, Ebonyi capital where a vehicle plunged into a pit, has hindered rescue operations 48 hours after the incident occurred.

The yet to be identified vehicle plunged into the abandoned mining pit on Saturday but 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.

The state governor, Dave Umahi, who visited the scene of the incident, 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.

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NAN reports that scores of people watched the rescue efforts and shouted whenever the crane tried retrieving it aground.

The onlookers were, however, disappointed as the vehicle went off the crane’s hook whenever the equipment tried retrieving it from the flooded pit.

DSP Loveth Odah, the Police command’s Public Relations Officer in Ebonyi, told NAN that rescue efforts would continue on Monday.

“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 neigbouring 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. (NAN)