Zambian bus crash leaves at least 53 people dead

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A BUS operated by Zambia’s postal service carrying passengers toward its capital Lusaka smashed into a lorry and another car yesterday, killing at least 53 people.

The crash happened near the town of Chifamba, about 60 miles north of Lusaka.

Images carried by local media showed rescuers climbing over the smashed-in front end of the bus, with the remains of the orange lorry 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 had died, while a further 22 had been taken to local hospitals.

Zambia Postal Services runs the bus routes throughout the country, carrying passengers and mail through the nation of 13 million people.

President Michael Sata said he had sent his condolences to the families who had lost loved ones. “Allow me on behalf of my cabinet, the first lady and indeed on my own behalf to convey my deepest condolences to the bereaved families,” he said.

The crash was one of the worst for Zambia in recent years. In April 2005, a truck packed with school children skidded off a mountain road in northern Zambia, killing 38.