By Ibrahim Oyewale
The death toll in the fatal crash that occurred when the an 18-seater bus plunged into the River Niger at Koto Karfi on the Lokoja-Abuja highway in Kogi State last Tuesday may have risen to six as efforts to rescue two women have proven abortive.
The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) Commander, Kogi State Command, Solomon Akure, who gave an insight to the accident, disclosed that the death toll has risen to six.
Akure explained that it was a tragic end for four passengers and some missing women when the bus plunged into the river last Tuesday night.
He pointed out that the Toyota Haice bus with number plate: JJN 73 XA Plateau was said to have loaded from Ijora under bridge in Lagos heading to Kano, noting that efforts to trace the manifest have proved abortive.
The commander added that eight divers were engaged in search of two other female passengers, but efforts to get them have not yielded any positive results as at the time of filing this report.
He said 15 passengers were involved in the accident, four persons died instantly while two female passengers were washed way in the water.
Akure added that seven people received varying degree of injures, and the four corpses have been deposited at Koton Karfi General Hospital.
The incident occurred at black river bridge when the driver allegedly slept off and plunge into one of the tributaries of the River Niger in that axis.
Earlier, the state Commandant of Nigerian Security Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Suleiman Marafa, explained that fewer than four corpse have been recovered as 13 passengers were rescued alive while one person was still missing as at the time the operatives of the corps arrived for rescue operation last Tuesday night.
Mafara told journalists in Lokoja that on the receipt of the distress call, his men of the Disaster and Crisis Unit in conjunction with the FRSC and volunteer divers were mobilised to the scene.
He said four corpses have already been recovered and 13 others have been rescued alive while one person was still missing.