Katsina — Twenty three persons including women and children were on Monday killed and five others injured when two vehicles fell into a river following the collapse of a bridge at Yanranda village of Charanchi local government area, Katsina state.
The incident occurred at about 9pm after torrential rains washed away the bridge. A bus and the 24 passengers onboard were washed away by water waves, resulting to the death of 22 persons. The other two survived.
Daily Trust reporter who visited the scene of the accident yesterday reports that 15 bodies have been recovered, while search by a combined team of police and locals was still on.
Eleven bodies were recovered in Ajiwa village in Batagarawa local government and four others in Rimi local government area of the state.
An official of the Federal Road Safety Com-mission (FRSC) at the scene, who preferred anonymity, told our reporter that six dead bodies were still missing.
The bus with registration number XA 328 KZR was travelling to Kano from Katsina, Daily Trust learnt. Residents of Yanranda village said they tried stopping the driver of the bus but failed as it was on high speed and subsequently plunged into the river.
The second vehicle, a Mitsubishi Canter, with three people onboard also fell into the river at about 5am yesterday but the occupants were rescued alive. One of them later died at the Kankia general hospital.
The driver of the canter, who survived the accident, said he refused to stop because he mistook residents stopping him for armed robbers.
Also yesterday morning, a motorcycle rider with a passenger fell into the river. They were both rescued alive minor bruises. Confirming the incident, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bala Zama Senchi, said he could not ascertain the exact number of people that died in the incident, but said 13 bodies had been recovered.
The permanent secretary of the state ministry of works and housing, Alhaji Rabi'u Ibrahim, who led representatives of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and Katsina State Road Maintenance Agency (KASROMA) told newsmen at the scene of the accident said they came to assess the situation and report to the government.