AT least 20 people died and 45 others suffered injuries in a nasty road accident that involved a lorry and three minibuses on Sunday.
The terrifying accident occurred at Iwambi slopes near Mbalizi Township along the Mbeya-Tunduma highway after a 40-feet container lorry rammed into the minibuses in which the deceased and injured were travelling in.
Mbeya Regional Police Commander (RPC) Musa Taibu said the lorry with registration number T607DMB and its trailer T401DME was heading to Tunduma in Songwe region from Mbeya city.
The RPC alleged that the speeding lorry rammed into the minibus from behind, pushing it into a trench at Iwambi slope. The minibus was traveling from Mwanjelwa to Mbalizi.
Commander Taibu said the speeding lorry on a steep slope had head on collisions with other two incoming minibuses, which were as well pushed into the trench.
“After the two minibuses had overturned, the lorry also lost direction and plunged into the channel, resting on top of one of the two Hiace buses with registration number T832CNV,” said the RPC.
He confirmed that 20 people lost lives at the accident scene, injuring 45 others.
According to the police commander, the lorry driver escaped after the accident and the police have launched a manhunt for him.
According to RPC Taibu, the section of road where the accident occurred is narrow and rough.
Mbeya Regional Commissioner (RC) Amos Makalla said the government plans building ring roads to avert lorries from entering the city centre as they travel to neighbouring countries in the South.