Karatu — NEARLY 60 students from different secondary schools in Karatu District escaped death by sheer providence when the hired bus they were travelling in crashed into a gorge and the wheels came off.
The accident, which left five students and two teachers with injuries, and the rest suffering minor bruises, occurred at Endabash Village.
The passenger vehicle, a Mitsubishi Fuso bus with registration number T-825 AKG was coming from Kansay area heading towards Endabash in a convoy of other vehicles escorting the Freedom Torch which had just been handed over to Arusha from Manyara Region.
The bus was carrying singers, dancers and other performers from at least four local secondary schools of Karatu who were to colour the Mwenge race in the District.
The seat count revealed a sitting capacity of 28 but many students were standing along the aisle. The road leading from Mbulu to Karatu at the moment is filled with loose sand and according to eye-witnesses, the gravel caused the bus to skid and hit the trackside embankment, causing the front axle to come off and the bus crashing onto the edge.
The entire front section of the bus was totally destroyed from the crash, including the windscreen which was thrown several feet from the wreckage of the ill fated bus.
The injured students and teachers were treated and later discharged and others received first aid attention from medics who were accompanying the fleet.
The Freedom Torch arrived in Arusha in the early hours of Saturday, 30th of August, and was received from Manyara Region at the remote Kansay Ward which separates Karatu and Mbulu districts, the same venue where it was handed over last year.
The Arusha Regional Commissioner, Mr Magessa Mulongo who received the Uhuru Torch from the Manyara Regional Administrative Officer, Eng. Omar Chambo, revealed here that the annual Mwenge race will be making Arusha rounds for six days in which community development projects valued at 7.3 billion/- are to be inaugurated.
Arusha has seven districts to be covered by the Freedom Torch marathon, and these include Karatu, Monduli, Meru, Arusha-Urban and Arusha- Rural then on to Longido and finally ending in Ngorongoro before the flaming brass will be handed over to Mara region at the Naabi Gate which is within the Serengeti National Park.
This again happens to be the same place where the torch winded up its Arusha race last year. "Arusha is an extremely large region which if truth be told, is rather difficult to cover under ordinary circumstances, but with the support of the Torch, it is possible to go round the vicinity, checking and inaugurating development projects as well as establishing new ones in a single journey," explained Mr Mulongo