No fewer than five persons have died, after a bridge collapsed as a result of a downpour in Oko-Erin metropolis, in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, Saturday night.
A car carrying three passengers was on the bridge when it collapsed, according to an eyewitness.
The driver and passengers dived into the canal and died before they could be rescued.
“The bridge collapsed around 10pm on Saturday nightbecause of heavy downfall. The driver was on the bridge when it tore apart and they fell into the canal,” says a witness.
“They died because they could not get help as people don’t have means of rescuing them, we had to standby and expect the emergency team to come.”
Three persons from the five persons that died in the Toyota car with registration number LRN-978FE when the accident occurred, are of the same family.
Two out of the five occupants of the vehicle were said to have escaped without any injury.
The bridge which had been in existence for over two decades suddenly collapsed during the rain and the car plunged into the flowing river under the bridge.
The car was still trapped in the river at the time of filing this report.
The State Director of Fire Service, Abdulwaheed lyanda-Yakub, who spoke with NAN at the scene of the incident, confirmed that three persons of the same family’ lost their lives in the accident.
He disclosed that the state fire service was able to recover only one dead body and had yet to recover the bodies of the other two victims.
“We are still searching for the remaining two bodies since the river is flowing one, we are making effort to secure the other two dead bodies,” the fire director said.
The state Commissioner for Works and Transport, Rotimi Iliasu, described the incident as unfortunate and commiserated with the family of the dead.
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Mr Iliasu attributed the bridge’s collapse to constant dumping of refuse under the bridge which he said impeded the free flow of water.
He called on residents of the state to desist from dumping refuse under bridges and waterways to avert disasters.
The commissioner, who emphasised the importance of the road, said the ministry had begun repair works on the bridge.
”Consequently, the Okoerin road has been blocked while some personnel from the state traffic management authority are at the scene of the collapsed bridge to monitor diversion of traffic,” he said.
The Kwara State fire Service was summoned to a rescue operation at Oke Erin area last night at about 22:30 hours, involving a Vehicle with 5 people inside the car while the bridge has been submerged by the torrent flowing over the bridge due to the downpour.
One of the passengers alighted from the vehicle to check the depth of the torrent, but unfortunately, suddenly the bridge collapsed and got him sunk. Relatively the same time two passengers alighted from the vehicle and they got sunk too.
The Brigade have been working round the clock to recover those victims. However, Mr Okechukwu Orwabo has been found dead at Coca cola road, the State Fire Service will leave no stone unturned to make the remaining victims namely; Chuben Orwabo and Chibike Orwabo are found soon.
The Director, Kwara Fire Service, CFS Yakub I. Waheed urged the general public to be careful when it’s raining.
HASSAN HAKEEM ADEKUNLE.
HOD. MEDIA AND PUBLICITY FOR KWARA STATE FIRE SERVICE,
FOR, DIRECTOR STATE FIRE SERVICE.
Moreso, as at Monday, 15th June, the remains of one of the four persons swept off into the carnal following the collapse of a bridge at Oko-Erin area of Ilorin, Kwara State during a heavy rainfall on Saturday has been recovered while three others are still missing.
The name of the recovered body from the carnal was given as Okechukwu Orwabo by the state fire service officials.
The state fire service personnel are still searching for the bodies of 3 other victims as at the time of filing this according to DailyTrust.
It said that the bodies of Chuben Orwabo and Chibike Orwabo, both family members who were also swept away by the heavy rainfall on Saturday are still missing.
Four persons were reported to have been swept off into the carnal as a bridge collapsed at Oko- Erin area of the town on Saturday night.
A witness in the area, Alhaji Raimi Agbaje, said the bridge caved in at about 10 pm on Saturday night during heavy rainfall that lasted over two hours.