Friends Bus plunges into River Nile

By FELIX WAROM OKELLO & SCOVIN ICETA

Tuesday July 9, 2019
Adjumani bound Bus plunges into River Nile

The incident has left several passengers stranded at both Omi landing site on Adjumani side and Laropi landing site on Moyo side. Courtesy Photo  

MOYO/ADJUMANI. Friends Bus registration number UBA 310K on Tuesday plunged into River Nile as it was about to be loaded onto the ferry. The incident happened at Omi land landing site in Adjumani at about 7.20AM.

The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) Ferry Master, Mr Julius Okwii, told Daily Monitor that: “As we were loading vehicles that we had selected for the trip, this bus rolled by itself and plunged into the river. The driver was not inside because he had parked the bus at the landing site waiting for the next trip.”

Mr Okwii added that no passenger was injured and the bus was not damaged. The incident has left several passengers stranded at both Omi landing site on Adjumani side and Laropi landing site on Moyo side. Some of the passengers with emergencies, resorted to using motor boats. Others resorted to using the Obongi ferry site to cross.

“This is a night bus that was traveling from Kampala and heading to Moyo District. But this was purely a mechanical problem that the bus developed. We have always asked the owners of the vehicles to ensure that their vehicles are in good mechanical conditions to avoid such incidences,” he said.

The authorities have explained that upon reaching the landing sites, the passengers get off, register with the clerks and vehicles are loaded with only the driver. The passengers are checked and then allowed to board on the ferry.

This, according to UNRA is a safety measures in order to avoid accidents. This is however the second time such an incident has happened. Last year, a truck loaded with logs skidded off the ferry and plunged into the same river.
UNRA officials and police authorities are investigating the cause of today’s incident.

By press time, UNRA and the police were trying to retrieve the bus from the River so that business could resume as usual.

Five years ago, the late Bishop of Arua diocese, Rt Rev Fredrick Drandua advocated for a bridge to be constructed on the River Nile in order to ease transportation on the river and avoid water accidents.

On Monday, the FDC party President, Eng Patrick Amuriat Oboi, said: “When you look at the Nile, it is possible to build a Bridge across the Nile. It doesn’t take a lot of engineering knowledge and high costs. But the movement of people of West Nile has continued to be controlled and yet there are many points along the Nile where the Bridges have been built.”