The bodies of 14 out of the 32 passengers who got drowned when the bus conveying them from a burial ceremony plunged into a river on Friday in Akaeze-Ukwu River in Ebonyi State have been recovered.
Penpushing reports that, the location of the site and recovery of the bus was conducted on Saturday, while it is recalled that five of the passengers were rescued and taken to hospital on Friday, but one of them died at the hospital while the others are reportedly still unconscious.
The chairman of the local government, Onyebuchi Ogbadu, confirmed the recovery adding that the state government had to bring in divers from Rivers and Cross River states to help in the search of the bus.
“The divers were able to locate the bus and pushed it up to enable the crane to pull it out. The driver said he was carrying 32 persons on the bus so we are still looking for about 13 or more persons.” he said.
Penpushing further reports that, the council boss said the driver was able to dive out of the bus as it was plunging into the river and was one of those rescued on Friday.
The Ebonyi State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Loveth Odah, speaking on the development said seven of the bodies recovered are male while seven are female; adding that among the five victims rescued is the driver of the coaster bus with registration number. UKP 78 XA, identified as Nwaonu Chinedu, a native of Ikwo local government of the state.
Penpushing also reports that,Odah said the victim who died Friday is a female who is yet to be identified, stressing, “the female victim was confirmed dead by a medical doctor on arrival at Dennis Hospital Akaeke in the Area’.
“The driver narrated that he conveyed 32 members of the Christ Peculiar Church of Nigeria Enugu State branch to attend a burial ceremony at Nguzu Edda in Afikpo South LGA of the State”.
“14 corpses have been recovered (7 female and 7 male) together with the 608 vehicle. The corpses have deposited at Martha Memorial hospital mortuary AFIKPO preservation,” she said.
The police spokesperson disclosed that among those in the vehicle who are still being searched for is a retired Superintendent of Police, Livinus Mbah, adding that the Governor of the State had visited the scene of the incident.
“The Executive Governor of Ebonyi State visited the scene of the incident together with the Commissioner of Police Ebonyi State who described the incident as a very unfortunate one. He urges road users to avoid speed/reckless driving especially in this ember months”, she added.