By Verstine Nasuuna
Adjumani: Friends Bus registration number UBA 310K on Tuesday 9 July plunged into River Nile as it was about to be loaded onto the ferry. The incident happened at Omi land landing site in Adjumani in the wee hours of 7am
Mr Julius Okwii, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) Ferry Master said, the bus rolled itself and plunged into the river. “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.” He said.
He also said no passenger got injuries and the ferry was not damaged.
However, the shock left several passengers stranded at both Omi landing site on Adjumani side and Laropi landing site on Moyo side. “This is a night bus that was traveling from Kampala 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,” Okwii added.
The authorities 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.
That was the second time such an incident happening. In 2018, a truck loaded with logs skidded off the ferry and plunged into the same river.
Earlier, 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.”
UNRA officials and police authorities are investigating the cause of the incident.