Nigeria rescuers fear 46 bodies lie in sunken bus


Rescue workers said today that they feared another 46 bodies still lay in the wreckage of a bus that plunged into a river near Kano in northern Nigeria after a tyre burst.

Five new bodies, including that of the bus driver, were recovered today, bringing the number of confirmed dead from Sunday's disaster to 15.

The bus was travelling from the commercial capital Lagos to Kano on Sunday when it veered into a river in Ciromawa district, 50 kilometres east of Kano. Police said the bus lost control after its front tyre burst.

"From my understanding, about 46 bodies are still in the river," a fire services official said at the scene. "We cannot do much now because we need a crane to lift the bus out of the river."

The head of police rescue operations said the river's current may have pulled some of the bodies out of the wreckage.

"We believe strongly that some of the victims must have been carried away by the water -going by the figures being given by the various survivors as to the number of passengers in the vehicle," said the officer who identified himself as A. Francis. "We are putting together a team of local divers to go searching for the bodies."

Twenty people survived the crash and were treated in hospital in Kano. Some of the survivors stood by the river's edge today looking for missing family members and friends.