KIKWIT, DR Congo – Twenty five people were killed and 57 others injured Sunday when a bus overturned in the southeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to an official toll.
The accident on National Road Number 1 caused “25 deaths and 57 serious injuries” according to the official toll which was announced on public television.
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Leonard Mutangu, mayor of the town of Kikwit, told AFP earlier that there had been 13 deaths and 64 injured in the accident involving a bus from a Congolese company heading from Kikwit to Kinshasa.
An AFP correspondent who arrived at the scene shortly after the crash said there were bodies in the road and other people still trapped in the vehicle.
Dozens of the wounded were lying in the street, some of them still bleeding heavily.
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The injured were evacuated to a public hospital in Kikwit, a large town situated some 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the incident.
“We are overwhelmed with the number of injured, especially as the pharmacy is out of medicine. Managing the fallout from this accident will be difficult,” said Guy Kilundu, a doctor at the Kikwit hospital.
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“Excessive speed” and “drunkenness” on the part of the driver, who died at the scene, is likely to be the cause of the accident, according to survivors interviewed by AFP.
Accidents on DR Congo’s roads are often deadly. On Friday, 11 people were killed when a freight truck overturned on a road in Kasai, in the centre of the country.