24 killed in western DR Congo road accident

Agence France-Presse . Kikwit | Published: 16:02, Apr 10,2021


Twenty-four people died and more than 20 others were injured in a collision on a major highway in western Democratic of Republic of Congo, a provincial governor told AFP on Friday.

‘The accident happened on Thursday in Masamuna,’ said Willy Itsundal, governor of Kwilu province, adding that many of the casualties burned to death when the collision sparked a fire.

‘Twenty-four people died,’ he said, adding that several more had been hospitalised.

The crash occurred on Highway 1, between the capital Kinshasa and Kikwit.

Itsundal listed high speed, overladen vehicles and drunk driving as among the main suspected causes of the accident.

Jean Masini, head of traffic police at Masamuna, 13 kilometres from Kikwit, said one of the vehicles was a bus.

‘There was a fire because the bus was carrying home-brewed alcohol and palm oil, which are inflammable products,’ he said.

Accidents are frequent on the DRC’s poorly-maintained roads, and casualty tolls are often high because of overcrowded vehicles.

In October 2019, 30 people died when a bus caught fire and ploughed into a home in Matadi, also in the country’s west.

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