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BAK

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15 perish as lorry hits minibus
Jonas Mwasumbi, Mbeya
Daily News; Monday,November 12, 2007 @00:01

FIFTEEN people have died and 13 others seriously injured when a lorry laden with bricks hit from the rear a Toyota Hiace mini bus at Nanyala in Mbozi district on the Tanzania-Zambia highway.

The Mbeya Regional Police Commander, Mr Suleiman Kova said seven passengers died on the spot, four on the way to hospital and four others in hospital on Saturday evening.

Police named those who died as the conductor, Friday Siwakwi (23), Atupakisye Sege, Salum Ramadhan, Frank Mwasege and William Mtani, Hussein Amani, Elizabeth Mwakalukwa, John Poles, Pastor Ngwilima, Andrew Mwalukama and Salome Mgala. Three bodies were yet to be identified.

Admitted to Mbeya Referral Hospital with serious injuries were Veronica George, Lucy Ndenga, Upendo Isaya, Amani Mwasanga, Hezron Masawe and Amani Salehe. The minibus driver Remijo John was admitted to the Ifisi Mbeya District Designated Hospital hospital at Mbalizi area.

The truck driver Elipa Humphrey, a Dar es Salaam resident, said he experienced brake failure.

"I tried to caution the mini bus driver by flashing him with lights but to no avail and I hit the vehicle from behind,'' the driver said.

He said that he was to offload the bricks at Mama John Area in Mbeya city. He had loaded his cargo in Mbozi district.

Speaking from his hospital bed at Ifisi about 25 kilometers south west of Mbeya municipality, the driver of the mini bus, Mr Remijo John told reporters that all that he remembered was the sound of a bang but was not aware as to what hit his vehicle.

Medical personnel said the conditions of the other victims were improving but could not be discharged because they were still under examinations by doctors.

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