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Home / Grief grips village… Geingob leads condolences after horrific B1 crash

Grief grips village… Geingob leads condolences after horrific B1 crash

2021-12-13  Loide Jason

Grief grips village… Geingob leads condolences after horrific B1 crash
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A village in the Omusati region has been thrown into mourning following a terrible car crash outside Okahandja, which claimed 15 lives on Friday morning.

The majority of those who perished, according to Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (Nabta) secretary general Pendapala Nakathingo, hail from the same village. The minibus, which was
en route to Ohakaleke village in the Okahao constituency, was involved in a horrific accident just before 03h30 and about 25km north of Okahandja. According to the authorities, it’s alleged that the driver of a Golf hatchback, which was driving towards Okahandja, bumped an aardvark and lost control before ramming into the trailer  of an oncoming minibus. 

The Golf also immediately collided head-on with another oncoming minibus, whereby both vehicles caught fire. The driver of the Golf and 14 occupants in the minibus died on the scene, and were burnt beyond recognition. 

“It is a sad moment that our festive season is starting with a dark cloud.  These people were 17 on the bus, including a one-month-old baby and two children aged 12. Only three survived, with one surviving with no injuries. Imagine, all 15 perished on the spot and were burnt beyond recognition. It is sad news indeed and we are shocked,” lamented Nakathingo. 

President Hage Geingob yesterday expressed sadness over the incident, while calling for greater vigilance on national roads. “This devastating incident happened at a time when Namibia is fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, specifically the new variant Omicron.  It is, therefore, saddening for our nation to be confronted with such news of lives lost in preventable road accidents, especially during this time of the year when people are travelling for holidays and to reunite with their loved ones whom they have not seen in a long time,” Geingob said in a statement.

“As we mourn the loss of these precious lives and others over the long weekend, I urge for greater vigilance and call upon all drivers on our roads to observe and respect the rules for road users by ensuring, amongst others, that they don’t drink and drive, drive within the speed limit, take due diligence when overtaking, do not overload, and that vehicles are in a roadworthy condition.” 

The President also requested the safety and security cluster to ensure that all necessary measures are put in place to avoid road fatalities this festive season.

 

Identification

Meanwhile, Nakathingo said Nabta will do everything possible to fast-track the official identification process. 

“There are two people who were burnt beyond recognition, and are not yet identified. I want to make it clear that Nabta is going to ensure that drivers prioritise the use of a log book to fast-track the identification process in the event of an accident,” he stated.

 He said it has taken them too much time to identify some of the passengers on the bus because their prescribed log book was not used by the driver, who is believed to have used a piece of paper, which burned in the process. 

“We are going to engage the Namibian Police to enforce the use of a log book so that in an event like this, they too will not struggle to identify victims. The log book should have  a list of all people that are on the bus that day, their next of kin’s contact details, and ID numbers,” added Nakathingo, while urging motorists to be cautious on national roads.

Another fatal crash

Meanwhile, the Otjozondjupa police reported another awful car accident on Thursday night at Okahandja’s Vyf Rand, which claimed the lives of an adult woman and her two children. According to the police, the pickup in which the woman and her children were travelling collided with an Audi sedan. 

The driver of the pickup sustained head injuries, while his counterpart in the Audi escaped with minor injuries. “We once again urge people to be extremely cautious, and to drive responsibly as many innocent lives are at risk,” Otjozondjupa police spokesperson Maureen Mbeha said.

ljason@nepc.com.na 


2021-12-13  Loide Jason

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