18 dead in DR Congo road accident

BUKAVU, Congo – At least eighteen people were killed on Friday when a truck carrying goods and passengers veered off the road and overturned several times on a major highway in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, officials confirmed.

Luke Mulimbalimba, interior minister of South Kivu province, told reporters that the accident happened at Bulambika, on the highway linking Bukavu and Kisangani, in the northeast district of Bunyakiri.

He confirmed that 18 people died on the spot while 12 were seriously injured and are battling for their lives in a local hospital in Bukavu.

“The official toll on the basis of the report from Bunyakiri is eighteen deaths, 12 are severely injured and have been taken to hospital” told reporters.

According to Mulimbalimba, a rescue operation involving two helicopters and three ambulances was deployed to the scene.

Mulimbalimba also urged people to restrain from using trucks carrying goods as their mode of transport as it is not safe and also not allowed.

Jean Mwanuka, who is in charge of the administrative district of Bunyakiri, told reporters that the accident happened because of the poor condition of the road.

Bunyakiri expressed concerns over frequent and deadly road accidents in the country, where excess speed, overloading and poor vehicle maintenance are the major factors.

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