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DR Congo: at least 14 dead in road crash

Health Minister said there could be more than 30 people injured

Civilians look at the wreckage of a public transport van following an accident in Mont-Ngafula district of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo February 16, 2020. REUTERS
Civilians look at the wreckage of a public transport van following an accident in Mont-Ngafula district of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo February 16, 2020. REUTERS

At least 14 people died and about two dozen hurt on Sunday when a lorry ploughed into vehicles and pedestrians in the Democratic Republic of Congo capital Kinshasa, police said.

Kinshasa public security chief Miguel Bagaya said witnesses claimed the lorry smashed into a taxi bus, other vehicles and pedestrians after its brakes failed.

"To date, there are 14 dead and several injured," Health Minister Eteni Longodo said after visiting the scene. "There could be more than 30 injured.

"The government is here. We are taking care of the people. We shall ensure that everybody benefits from quality treatment."

Congolese often accuse authorities of not responding adequately to such incidents.

Interior Minister Gilbert Kokande, who joined Mr Longodo at the scene, said the government would take "preventive measures" to crack down on speeding along a busy sloping stretch of road near the university.

Witness Joseph Enenge told UN-run Okapi radio he estimated the death toll at about 30.

Another, Yasmine Lutonadio, said: "There were so many dead I just can't take it in."

Mr Enenge and Ms Lutonadio said the lorry had hit about eight vehicles.

There were half a dozen shattered vehicles at the scene, including two minibuses and three cars.

Top Congo FM radio tweeted that the lorry was carrying a cargo of stones and hit "several vehicles and motorbikes".

Updated: February 17, 2020 01:30 AM

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