A bus operated by Zambia's postal service carrying passengers towards its capital Lusaka smashed into a semi-truck and another car yesterday, killing at least 53 people in one of the worst traffic crashes in the nation in recent history, officials said.
The crash happened yesterday morning near the town of Chifamba, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) north of Lusaka, police spokeswoman Elizabeth Kanjela said. Images carried by local media in Zambia showed rescuers climbing over the smashed-in front-end of the white bus, the remains of the orange semi-truck in pieces in front of it. Other images showed corpses laying alongside the two-lane highway that connects the capital to neighbouring Tanzania.
Kennedy Sakeni, Zambia's information minister, said at least 53 people died in the crash, while another 22 had been taken to local hospitals. A sport utility vehicle was also involved in the crash, he said.
Zambia Postal Services runs the bus routes throughout the country, carrying passengers and mail through the nation of 13 million people in southern Africa. The crash happened as the sport utility vehicle tried to pass the bus and ran head-on into the semi-truck, sending the truck into the bus' path, district commissioner Priscilla Chisha said.