No fewer than 23 persons were feared killed in multiple crashes when their vehicles plunged into a collapsed bridge at Yar’randa village in Charanchi Local Government Area of Katsina State.
The News Agency of Nigeria learnt that the first crash involved a bus conveying 24 passengers, which plunged into the bridge few minutes after its collapse on Monday night.
According to the witness, the bridge collapsed at about 9.30pm due to heavy downpour and moments after, the bus, with registration number XA 328 KZR, conveying passengers from Kano to Katsina, fell into the bridge.
The villagers said efforts made to alert the bus driver was to no avail as he was on high speed.
The bus and the passengers were swept by the heavy current and some of the dead bodies were recovered miles away in Ajiwa area, the villagers and officials told NAN.
NAN also gathered that only two of the passengers in the bus, including a student of the Federal College of Education, Bichi in Kano State, survived the incident.
The student, Jamilu Aminu-Elder, who was seen at the scene, could not speak to NAN as he was still in shock.
The police said 10 bodies had been recovered and deposited at the mortuary of General Hospital, Kankia while the search for 12 others was ongoing.
Similarly, another person was reported dead when the vehicle he was in, a Mitsubishi truck, fell into the water at about 5am on Tuesday.
Two other persons in the vehicle however survived, while a motorcycle rider with a passenger, who also plunged into the collapsed bridge, were rescued alive.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Bala Senchi, who visited the scene, confirmed the story, but said the police were not clear on the number of death as the search for the missing passengers was still on.
Senchi said policemen had been deployed to the area to control traffic and prevent further accident at the scene.
Malam Rabi’u Ibrahim, the Permanent Secretary, stae Ministry for Works and Housing, and an official of Federal Roads Maintenance Agency have visited the scene to assess the damage.
Ibrahim said a report would be forwarded to the Katsina State Government for prompt intervention.
He condoled with the families of the deceased persons and prayed for the repose of the souls of those who died.