Five businesspersons were killed on Sunday morning while eight others sustained injuries after a lorry they were travelling in overturned in Chikwawa.
Police said the accident occurred at Bereu Trading Centre along the Nchalo-Chikwawa section of the M1 Road just after midnight, killing the five vendors on the spot.
Southern Region Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said in an interview the vehicle was coming from Nsanje to Blantyre when the driver lost control of the wheel and crashed onto the carriageway.
“Five passengers were confirmed dead after the driver failed to negotiate a sharp turn and the truck overturned,” he said.
Kadadzera said the vehicle, a Scania truck registration CZ 4342, was loaded with bags of sweet potatoes from Nsanje and allegedly carried unauthorised passengers on top of the bags.
The driver has been identified as 32-year-old Mussa Chilembwe from Mwahara Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Nkalo in Chiradzulu.
Kadadzera said the driver will answer two charges of causing death due to reckless driving and conveyance of passengers in a goods vehicle contrary to road traffic rules and regulations.
As we went to press, the particulars of the deceased were yet to be established. Their bodies were being kept at Chikwawa District Hospital mortuary, according to police.
The eight surviving passengers are receiving treating at Chikwawa District Hospital, according to Kadadzera. n