18 killed in road accident in Sierra Leone

18 killed in road accident in Sierra Leone
# 01 August 2013 20:54 (UTC +04:00)

The accident occurred after the driver lost control of the vehicle while engaging a steep hill and careened into a valley.

Social activist Charles Mambu of the Health for all Coalition, a non-governmental organization, told Xinhua that the dead included 16 businesswomen, a three-month-old baby, and a 36-year- old man.

Local reporters contacted by Xinhua at Makale said the accident occurred at 4:30 a.m. local time.

Mambu, who was in the area and monitored the development on the local community radio, Radio Mannkneh, some 40 km from the scene of the accident, said the truck was carrying a total of 36 passengers in addition to a quantity of consumer goods.

He said the vehicle was heading for the diamond mining town of Kono in the east when the driver lost control of the truck at the top of a hill and careered backwards.

He said the 18 died on the spot while the injured passengers were taken to a nearby hospital in Magburaka in the Tonkolili District of Sierra Leone.

A police source said the driver and his apprentice were said to have fled the scene.

Medical doctors at the government hospital at Magburaka informed the media that the bodies of the 18 victims had been deposited at the mortuary.

Meanwhile, the police have launched an investigation into the accident.

Just recently, another road accident occurred very close to the scene of this accident resulting in the death of three persons.

Road accidents in that part of the country are usually due to the recklessness of drivers and overloading.

A World Health Organization (WHO) report says road traffic accidents account for 11 of the 20 top causes of death in Sierra Leone.