AT least Eighteen people perished in a gruesome accident yesterday morning at Akabuga ka Musha on the Kigali-Kayonza highway.
The accident involved a Tanzania-registered truck that smashed and ran over a passenger service van carrying 19 people, killing all on-board but two passengers.
The other victim was a child who was working on a roadside farm with his mother.
The bodies of the deceased were rushed to Rwamagana Hospital mortuary, where several people gathered to identify their relatives.
The director of the hospital, Dr Madeline Mukeshimana, confirmed to The New Times that they had received the victims, adding that they were still gathering information.
“We have so far counted 18 bodies, only two people arrived here alive. We have referred them to the Central University Hospital of Kigali. Most of the bodies were crashed beyond recognition,” she said.
The 18 people were killed on the spot as the taxi got wedged under the trailer, eyewitnesses said.
Claudette Uwimana, who was at the scene, said the trailer, which was headed to Kigali, was speeding and that it first knocked two cars before crushing the omnibus.
Most of the deceased had not been identified by press time, but Police said the victims hailed from different districts.
Police said they were investigating the cause of the accident.
The Commissioner for Traffic and Road Safety, George Rumanzi, cautioned drivers against reckless driving.
“Drivers should be warned that terrific speed and reckless driving leads to unnecessary deaths. We are going to intensify road safety in this particular area that is prone to accidents. It should, however, be the responsibility of all road users,” Rumanzi said.
The Musha area is a blackspot that has claimed several lives in the recent past.