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At least 12 people were killed and dozens more seriously injured when a bus overturned on National Highway 1 (EN1) in Inhambane province, southern Mozambique, on Sunday afternoon.
The driver of the vehicle is among the dead. The government is investigating the causes of the accident and trying to identify the bodies of the victims.
The vehicle was travelling between the capital Maputo and the city of Quelimane, in Zambézia province, in the centre of the country. Arriving in the Zavala district of Inhambane, the bus went off the road due to the burst of a front tire, then rolled over and caught fire. Many passengers were able to get out of the vehicle without suffering serious injuries.
One of the survivors, Orlando Zucula, told DW that “the bus was travelling at high speed, and then the tire burst.” Then, he recalls, “the driver lost control, went into the woods and turned the bus over.”
Manuel Sabão, another survivor, was travelling to the city of Quelimane and said that it all happened very suddenly and that he did not notice anything. “I went up to Macia to go straight to Quelimane. This accident happened suddenly; I only heard women crying,” he said.
According to provincial government spokeswoman Assissa Carrimo, human error was responsible for the accident. Authorities are having difficulty identifying all victims and are still waiting for relatives to assist in the process.
“There was a human error linked to speeding in this accident which resulted in 12 charred bodies. We have not so far been able to identify all of them. The difficulty we are encountering is that we cannot locate the passenger list. We are continuing the work to identify them through relatives,” she said.
Daniel Manjate, the doctor at Quissico rural hospital who received most of the wounded, the injured victims are already out of danger. “We had four patients under observation. There was no need to transfer all the patients because we managed to handle them internally.”
On Monday morning, Inhambane Governor Daniel Chapo asked members of the government to observe a minute’s silence in memory of the 12 victims.
DW has recently published a story about the poor state of the EN1, the country’s main highway. Many motorists warned of the risk of accidents on the section of road connecting Inhambane and Zambézia provinces, which the report concentrated on. The government promised repairs in 2015, but so far nothing has happened.Deutsche Welle