About 53 people died after a bus collided with a truck in Zambia, Road Transport & Safety Agency Chief Executive Officer Zindaba Soko said.
A bus collided head-on with a truck between 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. in Chibombo district, about 85 kilometers (53 miles) north of Lusaka, the capital, Elizabeth Kanjela, a police spokeswoman, said by mobile phone. The bus had capacity to carry 70 passengers. The police are still determining how many people were aboard, Kanjela said.
“It’s quite horrific,” Soko said by mobile phone from the hospital where survivors are being treated. “We have lost a lot of precious lives, the number is too huge.”
The accident occurred after a sports utility vehicle attempted to pass a bus along the one-lane highway, he said. The vehicle couldn’t make it back in time, causing an oncoming truck to lose control and hit the bus, Soko said, citing reports by survivors.
More than 1,200 people die in road accidents yearly in Zambia, making collisions the biggest killer after malaria and Aids, Soko said Jan. 11.