2013 Chibombo bus crash

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Chibombo bus crash
ZM-Central.png
Location of Central Province in Zambia
Details
Date7 February 2013
LocationCentral Province
CountryZambia
Statistics
Deaths51[1]
Injuries28

On 7 February 2013, a bus collided with a semi-truck and a sport utility vehicle on the Great North Road,[2] between the towns of Chibombo and Kabwe in the Central Province of Zambia,[3] resulting in the deaths of 49 of the 73 persons on the bus,[4][5] and of the truck driver and his assistant.[6][7][8] A further 28 people were injured.[3]

The crash was one of the worst in the history of Zambia, and was compared to a 2005 bus accident in which 38 high school students died and another 50 were seriously injured.[7]

Details

The 74-seat bus, operated by Zambia Postal Services, left Ndola, in the Copperbelt Province at 04:30 CAT,[3] and was heading toward Zambia's capital, Lusaka.[2][8] The road connecting Lusaka to Tanzania is a two-lane highway known for having heavy traffic.[6] District Commissioner Priscilla Chisha reported that a sport utility vehicle attempting to pass the bus crashed head-on into an oncoming truck, sending it into the bus' path,[7] while a survivor of the accident stated that the bus swerved into the truck to avoid an oncoming vehicle.[8] Police spokeswoman Elizabeth Kanjela said that even hours after the crash it was not possible to enter the bus wreckage to determine if there were other trapped passengers.[7]

Criminal investigation

An official of the office of the vice-president told press that all the vehicles involved were speeding.[9] The driver of the SUV, a farm manager from South Africa, was arrested and charged with "51 counts of causing death by dangerous driving", according to Kanjela.[4][10]

Reaction

President Michael Sata offered his condolences to the families of the victims; "We pray that the Lord almighty grants the bereaved families comfort and strength during this very painful period."[7] Chief Government spokesperson Kennedy Sakeni also offered condolences on behalf of the government, and pledged work would be done to minimise future tragedies.[11] On 8 February, the government declared three days of national mourning.[12]

South African President Jacob Zuma offered his condolences to the people of Zambia in a statement stating "Our hearts go out to the families, relatives and friends of the deceased. Our thoughts are with the injured as we wish them a speedy recovery."[5]

References

  1. http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nbcnews.com/50744164#50744164
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