Two dead, eight critically injured in Rusizi accident

TWO PEOPLE died on Sunday morning when a mini-bus they were travelling in veered off the road before overturning several times in Nzahaha sector, Rusizi District.
Shocked residents at the scene of the accident yesterday morning   The New Times/ Jean Pierre Bucyensenge
Shocked residents at the scene of the accident yesterday morning The New Times/ Jean Pierre Bucyensenge

TWO PEOPLE died on Sunday morning when a mini-bus they were travelling in veered off the road before overturning several times in Nzahaha sector, Rusizi District.

 Eight others were seriously injured  and were rushed to Gihundwe Hospital, where they were still under intensive care by press time yesterday.

 The Toyota Hiace Minibus, registration number RAA899Q,  overturned several times and rolled for about 200 metres before landing in Cyarubondo valley. The vehicle cut banana plantations, shrubs and everything on its way.

 It miraculously missed a residential house.

Eyewitnesses said if it had hit the house the death toll could have risen as the occupants were inside the house when the accident occurred.  The vehicle, which was heading to Bugarama town, was carrying 12 passengers, according to police. Two of them escaped unhurt.

 The identities of those who died – a woman and the driver- could not be verified by press time.

The accident happened shortly after 6.00 pm at a junction in Kigenge Cell, Nzahaha Sector, on the Kamembe-Bugarama highway.

 An eyewitness at the scene of the accident described it as the ‘worst and most terrifying’ he had ever seen.

The speeding vehicle “hit a small land elevation before literary flying,” the man, in his late 20s told The New Times.

Minutes before the accident, the driver reportedly told passengers he had failed to control the braking system, causing panic and chaos among the passengers, one of the surviviors said.

When The New Times visited the scene of the accident on Sunday night, area residents were helping in rescue efforts.

Yesterday, dozens of shocked and stunned residents gathered again at the scene of the accident and were discussing the circumstances under which the accident occurred.

“This is a regrettable loss for the entire country,” a resident, who identified himself only as John, said. “We are saddened by what happened”.

Mechanical fault

Sunday’s accident comes days after another accident claimed several lives on the same Kamembe-Bugarama highway, about two weeks ago. Five people died and 12 others were injured when a minibus carrying 18 passengers, all Congolese nationals, veered off the road.

The accident which involved a mini-bus from Bukavu to Uvila in DR Congo through Rwanda was attributed to over-speeding.

Speaking to The New Times, the Western Region Police Spokesperson Supt Hamza Vita said the accident might have been caused by a mechanical fault. The vehicle was too old, which might have caused the breaks to fail, Supt Hamza said, calling upon car owners to ensure proper mechanical conditions for their vehicles.

 “Regular vehicle inspection could give car owners a clear state of their vehicles and what should be corrected,” he said.

All vehicles are required to undergo a periodic technical inspection and those that are not roadworthy are required to be repaired before they are allowed on the road again.

Supt. Vita said plans to install large roadside signs on the Kamembe-Bugarama road are underway while Police plans to deploy a patrol vehicle in an effort to clamp down on over-speeding drivers.

Subscribe to The New Times E-Paper


You want to chat directly with us? Send us a message on WhatsApp at +250 788 310 999    

 

Follow The New Times on Google News