KOTA KINABALU: A river surface bridge across Sungai Liawan in Keningau in Sabah’s interior is in an unsafe state and needs upgrading.

Villagers in the area said the current river surface bridge was dangerous to cross when it gets flooded and clogged with debris during downpours.

“Vehicles can be pulled away when the river flow is swift,” said David Joseph of Kampung Dangulad which is located near Keningau town.

He said two years ago, two siblings drowned inside their car when their father tried to drive across the flooded river surface bridge.

“It was heartbreaking and villagers do not want such a tragedy to recur,” he added.

There were several other similar incidents but it did not result in any deaths, he said.

Joseph, 67, said local politicians had pledged to build a proper bridge across the river but nothing had been done.

“Political leaders have come to Kampung Dangulad and given assurances to build a proper bridge over Sungai Liawan but we are still waiting,” he told reporters.

He said the bridge was convenient for villagers to get quickly to Keningau town.

“It is about a 15 minutes’ drive for folks from neighbouring villages to get to town, compared to if they used the main road which is often congested and takes double the time or more to reach the town,” Joseph said on behalf of the villagers.

According to him, folk in Kampung Tuarid, Kampung Tuarid Ulu, Kampung Tuarid Tengah, Kampung Kotayangan and Kampung Bayangan also used the bridge daily.