Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Egypt: 25 die in Sinai road accident

Twenty-five people, including three children, died in a road accident in the Sinai Peninsula early on Tuesday when a passenger bus collided with a parked truck carrying 50 tons of building materials.

Another 25, including the driver of the bus, were injured. The dead included four police personnel – two low-ranking officers and two conscripts.

The bus, which was carrying passengers from South Sinai to the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, collided head-on with a truck parked on the highway between Oyoun Mousa and Suez.

According to the bus driver, Fathy Shafiq, a car driving in the wrong lane approached the bus while flashing its bright lights.

"I was unable to see from the light, and when I tried to avoid the car, I was shocked to find a truck parked on my right," Shafik told Al-Ahram's Arabic news website.

The truck had been parked on the side of the highway after it broke down, said Mahmoud Hosny, the truck's co-driver.

Hosny said that he and his boss had been sleeping inside the truck while waiting for a mechanic to arrive when the bus crashed into them.

He added that the truck had been carrying 50 tons of marble.

Mohamed Gomaa, who works on a farm opposite the accident site, said that he heard a "horrible crashing sound" at about 4am and ran out onto the highway in time to see body parts "flying through the air and scattered" across the tarmac.

The injured have been transferred via ambulance to Suez General Hospital.

The dead were sent to the morgue, said Salama Gabr, from Suez's ambulance authority.

Four bodies remain unidentified, Gabr said.

The families of those killed in the accident will be compensated with LE40,000, said Ibrahim Labib, chairman of Egypt's auto insurance federation.

The crash follows two others on Monday in which 16 were killed. Egypt experienced a spate of stormy weather on Sunday, which caused a number of accidents.

Egypt is notorious for its poor road safety. According to the World Health Organisation, 12,000 Egyptians are killed in accidents annually.

Wednesday 12 March 2014

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Zambia: 13 killed in Kitwe-Ndola dual carriageway accident

Thirteen people have died, while other passengers sustained serious injuries in a road traffic accident involving a Rosa minibus and a truck along the Kitwe-Ndola dual carriageway yesterday.

The 26-seater minibus, registration number ACP 5143, heading to Ndola from Kitwe with passengers on board collided with the truck laden with bags of mealie-meal.

The accident happened on the stretch where one way of the dual carriageway for traffic flowing from Ndola to Kitwe has been closed to facilitate maintenance, leaving vehicles to share the remaining side.

Both Copperbelt Police chief Joyce Kasosa and Kitwe Central Hospital spokesperson Grey Chishimba confirmed the fatal accident which happened around 14:00 hours at Kamfinsa Stream, 11 kilometres from Kitwe town centre.

Ms Kasosa said 12 people were confirmed dead in the accident, while many others were trapped and seriously injured.

“So far, 12 people have been confirmed dead and we suspect there could be others still trapped in the vehicle wreckage,” she said.

But Mr Chishimba said another passenger died at the hospital later, taking the number to 13.

Ms Kasosa said the accident happened when the driver of the truck, registration number ABR 8707, belonging to Makora Investments which was coming from Ndola, tried to dodge a pothole and collided head-on with the minibus.

She said the truck first hit a Toyota Chaser, registration number ACL 8156, before it collided with the minibus. All the vehicles careered off the highway.

A Times crew that rushed to the accident scene found Police and fire brigade officers searching for trapped people in the mangled minibus and the truck which had both plunged into a ditch by the road side. Mr Chishimba said the hospital had recorded 10 brought-in-dead cases by Press time.

He said from information given to the hospital, two bodies were taken to Wusakile Clinic mortuary.

The hospital also treated and discharged one person from the same accident.

Most of the injured people were taken to Wusakile Clinic where they were being treated.

By Press time, the victims had not been identified and the number of injured people in the accident was yet to be known.

Copperbelt Permanent Secretary Stanford Msichili and Kitwe District Commissioner Elias Kamanga rushed to the scene of the accident.

Meanwhile, the number of people who have died from the accident involving a bus that overturned in Masaiti on Monday has gone up from three to seven.

On Monday, three people died on the spot after the bus they were travelling in overturned in Masaiti due to speeding.

The accident happened around 10:00 hours on Mpongwe-Luanshya Road in Masaiti District when the bus travelling from Luanshya to Masaiti overturned.

Ms Kasosa said in an interview yesterday that two more people died at the hospital where they were rushed.

Yesterday in the morning, two others also died, bringing the number to seven.

“I understand that from all the seven deceased, three are teachers and one is a ward councillor, all of Masaiti,” Ms Kasosa said.

The bus, a Toyota Hiace minibus, registration number AOB 386, driven by Arthur Chibwe, 32 of 152 (C) in Mikomfwa, Luanshya had 17 passengers on board when it over turned.

Chibwe is in police detention charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

Wednesday 12 March 2014

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Kenya: 15 perish in Matatu crash at Nandi Hills

Fifteen people died in a road accident at Chebarus area of Nandi Hills town yesterday. Six sustained serious in- juries when the matatu plunged down a cliff at around 8am. Five of them were members of one family. They boarded the matatu at Langas estate in Eldoret town. They were travelling to their rural home at oyugis in Rachwonyo subcounty.

The vehicle belonging to Citizen Road Service plunged down the cliff, killing the driver and the conductor as well. The matatu was headed to Kisii. Nandi east police boss Patrick Macharia said the matatu was speeding and overloaded. It lost control at a corner near Chepsangor village.

Fourteen passengers died instantly while one succumbed to injuries at Nandi Hills district Hospital. Residents and volunteers from Kenya Red Cross assisted the police to retrieve the bodies. The bodies of 12 men and three women were taken to Nandi Hills district Hospital.

Macharia expressed shock at the accident. He said the driver may have failed to slow down at the sharp corner. Macharia was with Nandi deputy Governor Dominic Biwott. He said the corner is a sharp corner. "Drivers must exercise caution while driving," Biwott said.

Salgaa, located on the Nakuru-Eldoret road is one of the country’s black spots, with many road accidents occurring there.

Several accidents have occurred at the spot, the latest being on Saturday night when 12 members of the same family perished on their way back from a dowry-paying event.

“We are stressing the need to observe road safety regulations. That is what we are doing here at Salgaa,” Kimaru said. “Witnesses have told our officers that the (Kisii-bound) matatu was going down the hill at dangerously high speed.”

Biwott said a month ago, He said the road lacks signs and side barriers. "We appeal to the Kenya National Highways Highways Authority to put up road signs," Biwott said.

It was not immediately clear if the dead included people outside of the matatu.

Kenya’s road safety record is one of the worst with 3,200 people having been killed in road accidents in the country last year according to statistics from Traffic Police headquarters.

Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau has assured Kenyans he is determined to minimise road accident fatalities after initiating various measures – including the use of alcoblow – which aid police to identify and prosecute drunk drivers, both during the day and at night.

The government also imposed strict guidelines for night travel which many transport operators have failed to meet.

Wednesday 12 March 2014

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16 victims identified in N China road accident

Sixteen victims have been identified through their DNA after a truck exploded in north China's Shanxi province on March 1, local authorities said on Tuesday.

Identification of all victims remains incomplete as the bodies were badly burned and hard to identify.

At 2:50 pm on March 1, one of four tankers carrying methanol rear-ended another in a highway tunnel linking Shanxi's Jincheng city and Jiyuan city in Henan Province.

The collision triggered a fire and explosion, which caused death and injury to occupants of nearby vehicles.

Thirty-nine people have been reported missing.

Investigation showed that 42 vehicles were destroyed. A total of 48 people escaped, one of whom later died.

Wednesday 12 March 2014

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Bodies of 80 WWI soldiers found in Alps

The bodies of 80 soldiers who died in World War I have been found in melting ice in the Alps, with some perfectly preserved for nearly a century.

The soldiers died in a battle between Italy and Austria beginning on September 3, 1918, which claimed countless soldiers' lives.

The battle took place 12,000 feet above sea level, the highest fight in history.

According to the report, some of the soldiers' belongings started to flow down from the mountain a few decades ago, including still-legible love letters and poems which were never sent.

Battle, natural catastrophes and the low temperature were the most common causes of the deaths. Although DNA can be extracted, difficulties exist in locating the current whereabouts of the soldiers' families.

Wednesday 12 March 2014

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11 killed in avalanches, house collapses in Kashmir

Eleven people were killed Wednesday in avalanches and house collapses in different parts of Jammu and Kashmir, police said.

A senior police officer told IANS that two soldiers were killed when an avalanche hit the Batra camp of the army in Kargil district early Wednesday.

He said three Nepali labourers were also killed in another avalanche in Kaksar area of Kargil district.

“The labourers were working in a stone quarry when the tragedy struck,” the officer said.

“Four members of a family were buried alive under another avalanche in Balsaran Danau Kandi Marg village in Kulgam district of the Kashmir Valley.”

The officer said their bodies have been recovered.

He said that another woman was killed in a house collapse in Qazigund area of Kulgam district during the night as the roof of the house gave way under heavy snowfall, and another woman died in a house collapse in Shopian district.

The state disaster management authority has already issued a warning in the higher reaches of the Kashmir Valley and the Jammu region about more avalanches and landslides.

Tuesday 12 March 2014

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Lagos Boat Mishap Update: 14 Dead, Five Rescued, Five Missing

Fourteen persons have been confirmed dead in the boat mishap that at the 4th Avenue, Opposite 41 Road Junction, Festac Town, Lagos.

The Public Information Officer, National Emergency Agency (NEMA), Mr Ibrahim Farinloye said fourteen bodies have been recovered.

"12 men, a woman and a girl have been recovered."

Meanwhile, five persons were earlier rescued from the mishap.

However, the search continues for the missing five with the help of the Navy Special Boat Service, National Inland Water Ways, Marine Police, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Police Disaster unit, Navy Air-wing, NEMA and local divers.

Tuesday 12 March 2014

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