3 October 2012

Tanzania: 17 Killed in Rural Road Carnage

MORE than 17 people have died, including a secretary to a Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Member of Parliament (Special Seats), Mbeya Region, identified by a single name as Amina, who was razed to ashes following a road accident in Mbeya.

The late Amina was secretary to Special Seats legislator Mary Mwanjelwa.

Other accidents occurred in Shinyanga, Kagera and Tanga regions. In Mbeya, a truck hit three motor vehicles at Mt Iwambi-Mbalizi escarpment when its brakes failed.

In the accident, which occurred at around 2:00 pm yesterday, saw legislator Mwanjelwa escape death after her motor vehicle caught fire resulting in the death of Amina. The legislator has been admitted to Ifisi Designated Hospital in Mbeya District. Eight bodies were sent to Mbeya Referral Hospital while two others were sent to Ifisi designated hospital.

Speaking at the scene, Mbeya Regional Commissioner Abbas Kandoro, said that more than 10 people died during the accident. Meanwhile, three people died on the spot and 98 others escaped death in three separate road accidents which occurred in Shinyanga, Kagera and Tanga regions yesterday.

The three people who died got involved in an accident in Shinyanga. Twenty-four others got seriously injured in a collision involving RS Bus Express and a truck that was carrying cargo in Kahama district.

The bus, with Registration Number T495 ATG, was heading for Bukoba from Dar es Salaam, while the truck, with Registration Number T513 BNP, belonging to Dhaudho (Faw) Company, was heading for Dar es Salaam from Ushirombo in Bukombe District, when the accident occurred at 12.20 in the morning.

Kahama District Hospital Medical Officer Emmanuel Andrew said that until 10.00am yesterday morning, the hospital had received three bodies and 24 casualties. Medical Officer Andrew said that some of the victims suffered broken limbs. He noted that four of the 24 injured had serious complications, prompting the hospital to rush them to Bugando Referral Hospital in Mwanza.

Those rushed to Bugando are Chabukana from Uganda, Makame Suliman a soldier, Fred Peter and Shaffi Abdalla. Those who lost their lives in the accident are Edwin Stephano, Zuraia Tuli (50) and Hamidu Yusuph, the driver of the lorry.

According to eyewitnesses, the accident was caused by the lorry driver who was trying to avoid hitting a cyclist and consequently, got into the lane of the bus, causing the collision. A passenger in the bus, Johanes Ndyamukamu, who escaped with minor injuries, said that prior to the accident the bus was in high speed and after overtaking a Sumry bus, their bus collided with the lorry that suddenly moved into the their lane, trying to avoid hitting a cyclist.

Reports from Kagera have it that 50 passengers plying between Mwanza City and Kigoma, narrowly escaped death when a bus they were travelling in caught fire. Kagera Regional Police Commander (RPC) Philip Kalangi said that the accident happened at Nyantakara Village in Biharamulo District at around 10.00 a.m.

He said the bus, with Registration Number T293 BDP, owned by Adventure Connection Co. Ltd of Kigoma, was completely destroyed by the fire. He said that nine passengers got injured and were admitted to Biharamulo District Hospital where four of them were discharged. Five others continue with treatment.

According to RPC Kalangi, all the passengers' property in the ill-fated bus was destroyed. He urged owners and bus drivers to ensure that their motor vehicles were in good working condition before starting journeys in order to avoid accidents. In Tanga, a total of 48 people cheated death after a bus they were travelling in caught fire along Segera highway in Tanga Region yesterday.

The Tanga Regional Police Commander (RPC), Mr Constantine Massawe, told this newspaper that the bus, christened Dar Express, with Registration Number T 369 ARH, was heading for Dar es Salaam from Rombo in Kilimanjaro Region.

He said the cause of the fire was not immediately established, but police are still investigating the matter. He added that the bus, driven by one John Mwakibete (41), caught fire when it was stopped by traffic officers.

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