One dead as underground drainage system collapses in Akwa Ibom


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One person was feared dead weekend as an underground drainage system under construction by Benest Engneering Ltd collapsed in Akwa Ibom.

The victim identified as Marvelous was a construction worker and was buried under the collapsed structure.

Newsmen gathered that angry residents of the area have even started mobilizing for a mass protest over perceived human error coupled with poor rescue operation that led to the death.

Some of the community youths were said to have deployed manual efforts with shovels, as the company could not immediately bring an excavator to rescue the victim.

A resident of the area identified as Mfon Udo, who said he personally assisted in the rescue operation, said: “The victim could have been rescued alive, but for lack of earth-moving equipment like an excavator.

“We joined in digging the spot for over four hours to get at his remains, heavily pressed down in the rubbles.

“The structure collapsed under the weight and vibration of a motorized equipment that was packing and ferrying the chipping stones closer to the underground, where the victim, a mason man, was trapped, while trying to pour cement and concrete mixture for the construction of the underground water tunnel”

Another resident of Itu local government area Effiong Bassey urged governor Udom Emmanuel to cancel the contract and re-award it to a major company with excellent safety standards like the Julius Berger, before his tenure ends next year.

“We have been completely cut-off from Uyo, the state capital because of perennial floods that submerged houses and people losing their lives every rainy season.

“So, when we saw contractors being mobilized to the site, we commended the governor for this rescue mission, but it turned out to be a big disaster to the people” Bassey lamented.

One Emmanuel Akpan even disclosed to newsmen on Sunday: “Since the accident happened, the contractor has disappeared with their equipment from the site. And from the look of things, the job has been abandoned”

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