Seven people have died while 12 others have sustained injuries after a driver of a Diesel truck failed to keep to his lane resulting in a head-on collision with an oncoming Canter which led to both cars falling into a ditch in Pemba.

According to a statement issued by police spokesperson Esther Katongo, Wednesday, the seven passengers of the canter were certified dead upon arrival at Choma General Hospital due to the impact.

She said a search of more bodies was underway as the wreckage was not removed from the ditch where some bodies were suspected to be trapped.

“Seven people have died while 12 others sustained injuries in a road traffic accident which occurred on 18th March, 2020 at about 06:00 hours on Batoka-Maamba road at 7 corners area near Siyamuleya area, 20 km east of Batoka town in Pemba District. Involved was a motor vehicle Man Diesel truck registration number ALL 9420 property of Cetina Transport of Lusaka driven by Owen Hamwene aged 26 years of Barlastone, Lusaka. Also involved was another motor vehicle Mitsubishi Canter registration number BAG 4215 driven by Webby Kabaso of Sinazongwe District.The accident happened when the driver of the Man Diesel truck Owen Hamwene failed to keep to his near side (left lane) in the process went to collide head on with the said Mitsubishi Canter which was coming from the opposite direction; subsequently both motor vehicles fell into a ditch,” Katongo stated.

“Due to the impact, seven occupants from the Mitsubishi Canter sustained head injuries and were all certified dead upon arrival at Choma General Hospital. They have been identified as Webby Kabaso (driver) age not known, Precious Chile, 40 years of Sinazongwe ,Margaret Makungu 40 years of Zambia compound, Choma, (4) Nessia Nganga, 53 years of Maramba compound, Livingstone, F/Christine other names and age not known but of Maramba Compound, Livingstone and two unidentified male adult persons of unknown age and abode. However, a search for more bodies continues as the wreckage has not been removed from the ditch where some bodies are suspected to still be trapped. Details will be given once availed.”

Katongo said other 11 passengers of the Canter and driver of the diesel truck sustained serious injuries and were admitted to Choma General Hospital.

“Eleven other passengers from the Mitsubishi Canter (five males and six females) and the driver for the Man diesel truck and trailer Owen Hamwene sustained serious injuries and have all been admitted to Choma General Hospital while the seven bodies are lying in the Hospital mortuary awaiting postmortem and identification for the two unidentified bodies,” stated Katongo.