Many feared dead in Ebonyi State on Friday, when a loaded 608 bus carrying members of a Church returning from a burial in Afikpo plunged into a river along Akaeze-Ishiagu bridge, with many missing.
The DAILY VENDOR gathered that about five victims were rescued by local divers as of 10pm, Friday, out of which one person was said to have died in a hospital where they were rushed to.
It was learnt that the bus driver wanted to overtake a truck when he lost control and skidded off the bridge.
Confirming the incident, the Federal Road Safety Sector Commander in the state, Stella Uchegbu, said the accident occurred at about 6pm.
Uchegbu however said the number of people on board could not be ascertained as the bus was still trapped.
She said, “The accident involved a 608 bus carrying members of a church returning from a burial. They were coming from Afikpo to Enugu. The bus lost control on Akaeze Bridge while trying to overtake a truck or while the truck was trying to overtake it. It lost control and plunged into the river.
“I learnt about five people were rescued by divers organised by the local government area chairman and they were taken to a hospital. We could not ascertain the number of people on board because the vehicle has not been found.
“Being a group outing, we do not know whether they observed COVID-19 protocols. That kind of bus normally carries up to 30 or more passengers. We do not know whether it was fully-laden. Search and rescue is still on and our men are on the ground. The divers said it was already dark and they could not continue.”
The police spokesperson in the state, DSP Loveth Odah, also confirmed that one of the rescued victims had died while four others were receiving treatment.
“The bus is still trapped in the river. We don’t know the number of passengers in the bus,” she added.