Mazhandu Bus Services burns, passengers safe in Livingstone
Livingstone, February 26, 2013, ZANIS — A passenger bus belonging to Mazhandu Family Bus Services, registration number ABX 8677, has been burnt to ashes along Livingstone-Zimba road.
ZANIS reports that Southern Province Commissioner of Police, Charity Katanga confirmed the incident an interview in Livingstone , today.
Mrs. Katanga said the incident happened 25 kilometres from Zimba.
She said the Driver of the bus noticed some smoke and stopped the bus after which all the passengers disembarked safely and the luggage removed.
She said no passenger was injured and no luggage was destroyed in the inferno.
Recently, 53 people died in one of the worst traffic accidents in the country in Chibombo District.
This was after a bus operated by the postal service, but also carrying many ordinary passengers, collided head- on with a semi-truck and another sport utility vehicle, causing dozens of deaths and several injuries, near the town of Chilbombo.
The postal truck, carrying 74 passengers, was moving on a two-lane highway toward the capital of Lusaka.
The Associated Press reported that police investigators had not determined the cause of the crash even hours after it occurred. The final death toll could rise as bodies remain trapped inside the wreckage of the mangled vehicles.
But Harry Kalaba, an official in the vice president’s office, told Agence France-Presse that all three vehicles were speeding.
The highway where the smashup happened reportedly carries very heavy traffic, even at night.
Zambian President Michael Sata expressed his condolences to the families of the victims.
“Allow me on behalf of my Cabinet, the first lady and indeed on my own behalf to convey my deepest condolences to the bereaved families,” Sata said.
“We pray that the Lord Almighty grants the bereaved families comfort and strength during this very painful period.”
The country has witnessed such carnage on its highways. In 2005, for example 44 people were killed when a truck filled with high school students slipped off a mountain road in the north of the country..
According to the police, traffic fatalities have been increasing for the past decade, currently exceeding 1,200 annually (about half of them pedestrians, including many children).
The World Health Organization in particular has noted that 37.94 out of 100,000 people in Zambia died in highway and road accidents in 2011, making it the world’s eleventh most dangerous country with respect to traffic fatalities.