Marshy terrain in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital, where a vehicle plunged into a pit, has hindered rescue operations 48 hours after the incident occurred.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that 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.
A NAN correspondent who was at the scene of the rescue operation on Sunday at Enyigba in Abakaliki, reported that efforts by the crane provided by the state government failed as the pit was water logged.
The Ebonyi 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 passengers trapped in the pit.
The governor was accompanied to the scene by the Commissioner of Police in the state, Aliyu Garba, heads of other security agencies and top government officials.
Scores of people watched the rescue efforts.
The onlookers were, however, disappointed as the vehicle went off the crane’s hook whenever the equipment tried to retrieve it from the flooded pit.
The police spokesperson in Ebonyi, Loveth Odah, 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.
The Chairman of neighbouring Ikwo Local Government Area of the state, Stephen Orogwu, 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.
A witness told NAN that he was driving behind the vehicle when it suddenly veered from the road and plunged into the pit.
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