- 30 others admitted at the hospital
Barely three days after a student at Mzuzu University was killed in a road accident, 15 people are feared dead after four vehicles collided at Chasato, a few kilometers outside the city boundary of Mzuzu on Friday night.
The accident involved a heavy duty tipper registration BQ 9942 belonging to Plem Construction Company, a minibus registration number KA 6849, an extended Station wagon registration NA 102 and a lorry a Mitsubishi canter registration number Mz 1195.
Mzuzu Central Hospital administrator Timothy Soko could only confirm the death of six people who had been certified by the hospital.
He said the other nine were taken to the mortuary by police and had not been certified by the hospital.
“What our records show is six. The nine have been brought by police and we have not established what happened to them,” said Soko.
Hundreds of people rushed to the scene to appreciate the gravity of the accident and others rushed to the hospital to check the people involved in the accident.
Somber mood engulfed the hospital as dead bodies were being taken away from the emergency unit to the mortuary where workers also recalled to have packed 15 bodies in the cold-room drawers.
However Mzuzu Police spokesperson Martin Bwanali confirmed the death of 14 people adding 30 were admitted at the hospital.
He said the police have launched investigations into the matter. He said the driver of the tipper is nowhere to be seen while those for the other vehicles are receiving treatment at the hospital.
“The whereabouts of the tipper driver is not known. The other drivers are receiving treatment at the hospital. Meanwhile investigations are under way and law offenders will be brought to book,” said Bwanali.
According to eye witnesses Jobidon Nkunika, the accident occurred around 7pm after the Tipper developed a fault while transporting soil from Ekwendeni to Mzuzu.
The tipper is said to have had a faulty tire and the driver lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle started swerving to the right lane where it collided with the Mitsubishi canter. The Canter was coming from Mzuzu heading to Mpherembe in Mzimba.
Soon after the two collided a minibus carrying Chiputula CCAP Sunday School members and their teacher also smashed into the Tipper before the extended Station wagon hit the tipper.
The witness said it took over 20 minutes to rescue people but also remove those that had died on the spot.
“The most affected were those in the Lorry going to Mpherembe. The driver of the lorry tried to avoid the tipper but the tipper carrier and body of the lorry tangled. People sitting on the sides of the lorry body were hit by the tipper and most of them fell out.
“The minibus carrying nursery choir was also one of the heavily affected. It smashed into the tipper and children who were behind the driver’s seat were the most affected.
“Considering the extent of the damage it took us sometime to remove the dead bodies and rescue the other victims. We concentrated on those who suffered serious injuries so that they could be rushed to the hospital,” said Nkunika
The scene of accident was splashed with vehicle parts and luggage. By the time Nation Online got to the scene, only three vehicles were on the scene as the Mitsubishi Canter had been removed to avoid further accidents.