Five people died and two sustained injuries when a 20-seater geleh geleh plunged off the Burumang Bridge, in Kalagi, in the wee hours of Friday.
The vehicle, BJL 2680 D, according to unimpeachable sources, had left Kiang Jataba for maintenance in Kalagi with the owner, driver and the apprentice on board. They were said to have picked up four other passengers who were going to the bridge for fishing.
Bakary Touray, the apprentice - who escaped death, narrated that the driver, Alagi Camara - alias Alagi Kulembeh, on arrival at the bridge, slowed down for the passengers to disembark. But, he said, the vehicle suddenly hit the side of the bridge and plunged into the river.
According to the apprentice, he and the owner of the car, Momodou Sanneh, quickly jumped out of the car before it plunged into the river. The driver and the four passengers, including a grade nine student, went down with the car. The duo sustained injuries, and were said to have been rushed to the Sulayman Junkung Hospital in Bwiam for urgent medical attention. They were reportedly admitted there but later released after medical checkups.
Hundreds of people stormed the Burumang Bridge for a possible rescue operation but to no avail.
As early as 6 am, fishermen and well wishers from around the area went on a search of the five people who had been reported missing. About an hour later, the bodies of all five were found. They were identified as Lama Jawo, Sulayman Jallow, Modou Lamin Conteh, Yahya Marong and the driver, Alagi Camara.
The late Lama Jawo and Sulayman Jallow were natives of Kalagi. Modou Lamin Conteh - the driver, Alagi Camara and Yahya Marong - a grade nine student at Sankanding Nora-Jataba Basic Cycle - were natives of Jataba Village. They were all laid to rest at the riverside, at about 1pm on Saturday.
Abdou Sanyang contributed to the story.