One person has died while two others were seriously injured after a bus fell inside a gully at a bad portion of the Biase-Calabar federal highway, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
Both the deceased and the injured were among those who went into the gully to rescue the people inside the vehicle.
The head of the vigilante in Iwuru community in Biase, Mr Daniel Bassey, told a NAN correspondent, who visited the scene, that the incident happened at around 2 a.m. on Tuesday.
He said the driver of the bus failed to observe the warning sign indicating that a section of the road was no longer motorable.
“The whole incident happened at the early hours of Tuesday. The driver failed to observe all the warning signs and even when the vigilante men were trying to stop him, he sped off and fell inside the gully.
“Incidentally, the driver did not die. But when our men went into the gully to rescue him, the other layer of the road now fell on three people.
“One died instantly, while two others sustained very deep injuries,” he said.
When a NAN correspondent visited the victims at Pioneer clinic in nearby Betem community, they were said to be in stable condition.
One of them, Mr Samuel Bassey, told NAN that he only went inside the gully to save the fallen vehicle and the driver before the remaining layer of the road fell on him and two others.
“I am a member of Iwuru community vigilante. As soon as the other portion of the road became bad, we all agreed that we will be coming out at night to direct vehicles so that there will not be any accident.
“On Tuesday morning, a vehicle fully loaded with biscuits and can-drinks fell inside the gully.
“As we went in to rescue the driver, the upper layer of the road that was left now fell on us and I found myself in the hospital.
“These injuries are too deep for me to bear. At this point, I don’t even have money to run the necessary test the doctors required. I am appealing to the government to come to my aid,” he said.
NAN reports that rehabilitation work on the road was ongoing as the Federal Government had mobilised Sermatech Construction Company to the site.
Mr Bassey Nsentip, Assistant Director, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, who was seen supervising the work, described the death as unfortunate.
“I heard that a vehicle fell into that gully in the night after failing to adhere to the directions of the local vigilante group.
“I wish to appeal to road users to always obey road signs. I am happy that massive work is going on this road now and very soon the road will be much better for motorists,” he said.
The road, which is the only major highway to Calabar, connects to the central and northern parts of the state and has been in a deplorable condition with many sections washed out and rendered impassable to motorists. (NAN)