TWELVE members of a church choir from Thika in Kenya died in a grisly road accident that occurred at Makole village near Wami River in Coast Region.
According to Coast Regional Police Commander, Ernest Mangu, 25 other choir members who were travelling to Dar es Salaam for a religious convocation sustained injuries in the accident.
Upon learning about the accident and the fatalities, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki dispatched a special aircraft to airlift the victims to Nairobi for additional medical attention.
"The gospel singers were travelling in two minibuses. On approaching the 'meandering' Wami River spot, one of the buses skidded off the road. The other bus stopped behind to allow the passengers assist their colleagues. The time was around 5.00am.
Unfortunately, a lorry travelling from Tanga heading to Dar es Salaam rammed into the minibus that had just stopped, killing some of the passengers on the spot. As the driver of the lorry struggled to regain control, his vehicle collided with another truck coming from the opposite direction," Mangu explained.
He said vehicles involved in the accident blocked the road such that other motor vehicles plying the route from both sides had to wait for hours before the road was cleared. The police commander said bodies of the deceased were taken to Muhimbili National Hospital mortuary, while some of the survivors were rushed to Tumbi and Muhimbili hospitals.
"One of the lorry drivers involved in the accident is being held by the police for interrogation," Mangu said.
Meanwhile, John Nditi from Morogoro reports that 29 out of 51 people were admitted to Morogoro regional hospital following multiple road accidents that occurred in the region yesterday morning.
Morogoro Regional Traffic Commander, Leonard Gyindo said three passenger buses collided at Makunganya area on Morogoro-Dodoma highway. "The first accident involved Shabiby bus with registration number T 425 BYS from Dodoma heading to Dar es Salaam that overturned at a sharp corner.
A short while later, Sumry bus with registration number T 777 BWL from Dar es Salaam travelling to Mwanza hit the bus that had overturned in the area," Commander Gyindo explained. He added, within no time, another bus christened Allys Sports with registration number T 692 BKV from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza rammed into the ill-fated buses, after the driver lost control of his vehicle.
The police commander said preliminary investigation showed that the cause of accidents was speeding. A total of 45 people sustained minor injuries and some received treatment. The Acting Medical in-charge of Morogoro regional hospital, Dr Rita Lyamuya, confirmed admission of 51 victims, while 29 others were admitted to two hospitals.