Uganda Police gives up search for bodies of Karuma bridge accident

Uganda Police gives up search for bodies of Karuma bridge accident
Search efforts for the two occupants of the fuel tank that plunged into Karuma falls have been futile

Nwoya, Uganda | URN | Uganda Police say the hope of recovering the bodies of the occupants of the fuel lorry that plunged in River Nile at Karuma bridge in Nwoya district is fading due to high volume of water.

One of the deceased has been identified as Alex Ogwal, the driver of the truck registration number UAS 337M and Howard Obaro, a pump attendant, both attached to Shine Energy Petrol Station in Lira city.

The duo was delivering fuel to Masindi port in Masindi district.

Speaking to journalists at the Northern Uganda Media Club-NUMEC on Monday 26, April 2021 afternoon, Jimmy Patrick Okema, the Aswa River region police public relations officer revealed that rescue efforts by the marine experts have waned.

He explained that Joseph Mugisa, the Director of Fire and Rescue Services visited the bridge on Sunday and was puzzled by the rapid falls that cannot allow the divers and rescue team to trace the vehicle and its occupants.

Okema explains that the police have recommended to Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA to undertake some major rehabilitation work on the bridge that includes installing reflector road signs and proper lighting system to improve night vision.

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Allan Ssempebwa, the UNRA media relations manager said he needed more time to get the update of what exactly happened and what the authority will decide. The accident was recorded under Nwoya police station vide TAR 24/2021.

It is the latest of a series of accidents along Uganda’s most dangerous bridge constructed in the 1960’s. The lorry’s braking system failed, forcing it to speed past a security checkpoint at the Karuma-Arua city T-junction through the steep slopes at the bridge.

According to police, the truck becomes the 19th since 2011 to plunge into the River Nile without any trace. Several oral testimonies from travellers and records from police show that at least 20 people have perished at Karuma bridge after the different vehicles they were travelling in plunged into the rapid falls.