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11 die in road horror, mostly school leavers

By JOSEPH BANDA

A minibus and a truck collided head on the Mansa Nchelenge Road

ELEVEN people died yesterday in a road traffic accident on Mansa-Nchelenge Road. The accident happened when a mini-bus carrying mostly school leavers who were rushing for interviews at Mansa General Hospital School of nursing collided with an on-coming truck.

Nine passengers died on the spot while two others died at Mbereshi Mission Hospital in Kawambwa where they were rushed for treatment.

Luapula Province police chief Aaron Mushanga, who was at the scene of the accident, said six other passengers on the mini-bus were nursing serious injuries in hospital.

Five bodies of male passengers were taken to Mbereshi Mission Hospital mortuary, while bodies of the six female accident victims were taken to St Paul’s Mission Hospital in Nchelenge.

Mr Mushanga said the accident happened around 06:00 hours when the mini-bus driver attempted to overtake another mini-bus just before Mbereshi turn-off.

The driver did not see that there was an on-coming truck and in the process the two collided. The mini-bus, registration ACP 9549, and the Benz truck, registration number AX 6879, were extensively damaged.

Eye-witnesses said there was commotion at the accident scene at Kashiba area, 35 kilometres from Nchelenge on Mansa Road, as surviving passengers ran around in the confusion that ensued while villagers moved in to assist them come out of the mangled vehicles.

Most of the passengers were coming from attending nursing interviews at St. Paul’s Mission Hospital and were rushing to Mansa General Hospital for the other set of interviews scheduled for today.

Mr Mushanga said the driver of the truck was among the injured but that it was not clear whether the driver of the mini-bus was among the dead or the injured.

But some eye-witnesses said they saw the mini-bus driver flee from the accident scene and had not returned.

In Serenje, two Ministry of Health officials died on the spot after a head-on collision accident, SYLVIA MWEETWA reports.

The two were riding a Government motorbike when they collided with a Tanzanian truck, registration number DUD-PT 637, driven by Patricisia Allphasia.

Central Province police chief, Solomon Jere identified the victims as Osonell Chisha, 24, of Kanona Health Centre, and Sydney Bupe, 22, of Muswema Health Centre in Serenje.

The accident happened around 15:40 hours on Wednesday near Kanona on the Great North Road.

In the other incident, a 60-year-old man died on the spot while six other people sustained injuries after the vehicle they were travelling in, which was also carrying opaque beer, overturned in Chibombo area.

The accident happened around 18:30 hours on Wednesday in Kalebuka area along Chiyuni Road. Police have arrested the driver identified as Joseph Thole of Lusaka./TIMES

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