Mbozi — Seventeen people died on the spot in Mbeya and two others were pronounced dead at hospital after a minibus they were travelling in collided head-on with a lorry that was heading to Dar es Salaam from Tunduma.
The accident, according to police reports, occurred at around 9pm on Thursday at Senjele Hill in Mbozi District, just a few kilometres from the border between Songwe and Mbeya Districts.
Those who died include 15 females and four males. They were travelling to Tunduma in a Toyota Coaster, which belongs to Komkia Company.
Eyewitnesses say the lorry appeared to have failed brakes before it hit another lorry in the opposite direction that was heading to Songwe District. It then collided with the minibus, killing 17 people instantly.
Songwe Hospital's Medical Officer in Charge, Dr Henry Kagwa, said 17 bodies of those who were killed in the accident are preserved at the hospital'smortuary.
Two other bodies are preserved at Ifisi Hospital at Mbalizi.
"These two were a man and a woman, and they haven't been identified yet. The duo died at the hospital," said Dr Kagwa.
Mr Yusuf Abdi, one of the eyewitnesses, saidthe lorry was loaded with maize.
"I can't tell what exactly may have led to this accident, but I believe the drivers were careless," said Mr Abdi.
Songwe Regional Commissioner Nicodemus Mwangela was among the people who arrived at the scene of accident to rescue the victims. Mr Nicodemus said he received news of the accident at 10.00 pm.
This is the most deadly accidentin Mbeya since last month.