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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

24 die in road accident

Twenty-four people died when a lorry they were traveling in overturned and landed in a ditch in Mzimba on Monday night.

The accident happened at Mapanjira in the district on the Lilongwe-Mzuzu M1 road between 8pm and 9pm, according to the police.

The police said in an interview Tuesday that 22 people died on the spot
but Northern Region Police spokesperson Nora Chimwala said in the
afternoon that two more died at Mzimba District Hospital where they
were referred to.

The police and Mzimba District Hospital officials said 26 people were
injured and four were rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

Mzimba Police officer-in-charge Clifford Bandawe was said to have
traveled to the scene of the accident as we went to bed but his
officers confirmed both the accident and the time it occurred.

“Indeed the accident happened between 8pm and 9pm. The vehicle involved
in the accident was a Fuso Fighter, registration number KU 2413 and
driven by Shadreck Mwale, 19.

“The driver failed to negotiate a corner and the vehicle swerved to the
right hand side of the road where it overturned into and landed in a
drainage leaving 22 people dead,” said an officer at Mzimba Police

The vehicle, according to the police had 48 people, all members of
Christians of Last Church and they were on their way to Euthini for a
national conference.

According to the police, the vehicle belongs to Be Happy of Kasungu.

Mzimba District Health Officer Mwawi Mwale confirmed that 22 bodies
arrived at the hospital while 26 others came with injuries with four of
them in critical condition.

“We have referred the four critically injured to Mzuzu Central Hospital
while we are treating the others here. The 22 bodies are all here in
our morgue and most them died from head injuries,” he said.

Mwale said most of those being treated sustained various injuries such as scar bones, multiple fractures and cut wounds.

He, however, commended the swift response of the police, hospital
officials, the Mzimba (district) community and the general public on
the spot of the accident, adding their assistance helped to save some

“The first casualties were in by 9pm and because of the swift response
and combined effort by the police and hospital officials, we were able
to reach there and bring the casualties here on time. The people in
Mzimba as a whole also need to be commended just as the police and our
staff for the response,” said Mwale.

Mapanjira is near Luvwiri, close to Luwawa Forest Turn Off, an area mostly deemed as accident-prone.

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