President Buhari sents condolences as 14 bodies were recovered from Ebonyi state river accident

President Muhammdau Buhari has on Saturday, sympathised with the government and people of Ebonyi State over Friday’s auto crash on the Akaeze-Ukwu River where many passengers were feared dead.

In a statement by his media aide, Garba Shehu, Buhari said: “We are saddened and aggrieved at this colossal loss of human lives.

He aslso added that the thoughts and prayers of the government and people of Nigeria were with the families of the victims. Applaud the effort of the state government in the rescue operations.

Five of the passengers who were returning from a burial were rescued and taken to hospital on Friday, although one later died, but a total of 14 bodies have been reportedly recovered from the scene of the accident.

This followed the location and recovery of the bus by divers brought into the state from neighbouring states to aid in the search and rescue of the victims.

A bus carrying over 30 passengers plunged into the river along the Akaeze-Ishiagu expressway, Ivo local government of the state Friday night.

The chairman of the local government, Onyebuchi Ogbadu, confirmed the recovery of the extra 14 dead bodies yesterday.

According to him, 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,” he said, adding that they were still searching for the remaining passengers.

“The driver said he was carrying 32 persons on the bus so we are still looking for about 13 or more persons, ” he said.

Ogbadu 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 police spokesperson, Loveth Odah, said seven of the bodies recovered are males while seven are females.

She said among the five victims rescued is the driver of the coaster bus with Reg no. UKP 78 XA, identified as Nwaonu Chinedu, a native of Ikwo Local Government Area of the state.

“The corpses have deposited at Martha Memorial hospital mortuary AFIKPO for preservation,” she said.

Ms Odah said among those in the vehicle who are still being searched for is a retired superintendent of police, Livinus Mbah.

Source:Daily Trust

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