THE Namibian Police command in the Otjozondjupa Region has convened an emergency meeting after the death of 13 more people during a bus crash to address the problem of overloading on vehicles transporting passengers and the high number of deaths during recent incidents.
The Quantum mini bus that crashed near Kalkfeld late on Friday afternoon had 45 occupants, almost three times the amount of passengers that the vehicle is legally allowed to transport.
Deputy Commissioner Naukalemo Andreas, the Otjozondjupa Regional Crime Investigations Coordinator, confirmed that the bus that left the road and overturned in a bend on the main road between Otjiwarongo and Kalkfeld was carrying 45 passengers.
A Toyota Quantum bus is legally allowed to carry 16 only occupants which include the driver.
“The rollover crash caused the death of six children, six adult women and one adult man. Six people were critically injured and was transferred to the intensive care unit of the Katutura Intermediate Hospital from the Otjiwarongo State Hospital during Friday night. The driver is one of the survivors,” Deputy Commissioner Andreas said.
It is alleged that the bus transporting the 45 people – all members of a church congregation in Okamatapati on their way to a church gathering in Swakopmund – was travelling towards Kalkfeld when one of the rear tyres burst causing the driver to lose control over the overloaded vehicle. The vehicle left the road an overturned.
The tragedy occurred about four kilometres outside Kalklfed and it is the second such anincident occurred in the Otjozondjupa Region in as many weeks.
Two weeks ago a seven seater carrying 16 people – almost three times it allowable carrying capacity – overturned on the road between Kamanjab and Outjo resulting in the death of three children and three adults.
In this case the vehicle also had a tyre burst which caused the driver to lose control. The vehicle rolled at least six times next to the road.
On Saturday morning senior officers of the Namibian Police in the Otjozondjupa Region convened an emergency meeting at the regional police headquarters to address the high number of deaths resulting from overloaded passenger transport vehicles.
Deputy Commissioner Andreas said the victims of the latest overloading accident will be identified at later stage.