At least 26 people were killed and nine injured following a head-on collision in Tanzania.
The accident occurred on Saturday night at Kitonga Village, Mkuranga District, when a passenger vehicle and a truck collided.
Eyewitnesses said most of the people who died were returning from Dar es Salaam’s Mbagala area to Mkuranga.
“There were too many passengers in the Hiace…Most of those who died were either standing or sitting on the front seats of the vehicle,” said a resident of Kitonga, Mr Sudi Saleni, who arrived on the scene just after an accident.
The Regional Commissioner for Coast, Mr Evarist Ndikilo, arrived at Mkuranga District Hospital to console the families and directed police to thoroughly investigate the cause of the accident.
The medical officer in-charge at Mkuranga, Mr Stephen Mwandambo, told relatives of the deceased – who had gathered at the hospital to identify the bodies – that they received 25 bodies.
Fifteen bodies have already been identified.
“Ten accident victims were given first aid and referred to the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH),” Mr Mwandambo said, noting that one of the 10 died on the way to the MNH.
The acting commander for the Kibiti Special Police Special Zone, Mr Mohamed Likwata, said most of the bodies were damaged due to the magnitude of the accident.
"We immediately rushed to the scene after reports had reached us. We found 24 people (11 women, seven men and six children) dead,” he said.
Police were able to immediately identify the body of the passenger vehicle’s driver and a Form One student from Saint Getrude Secondary School.
“From the identity cards, police were also able to know that those who died included a teacher employed by the Rufuji District Council and a Standard One pupil from Tungi Primary School in Kigamboni Dar es Salaam,” Mr Likwata said.
President John Magufuli sent a message of condolence to Coast Regional Commissioner, Mr Evarist Ndikilo, following the deaths.
“I have been grief-stricken by the loss of 26 people who died in an accident at Mkuranga, Coast Region.
“We have lost a huge number of fellow Tanzanians who were part of the country’s manpower,” said the statement issued by Director of Communication Unit, State House.