Zambia horror crash death toll rises to 54

Zambia's deputy minister for Works and Supply Colonel Panji Kaunda with a provincial army representative inspects the accident scene after a Zambia postal service bus carrying 74 passengers collided head-on with a heavy goods truck on February 7, 2013 in Chibombo. PHOTO | AFP 

The death toll in the horror Zambia bus accident which happened Thursday has risen to 54, with some reports putting the number at 59.

More than 50 people died after a bus operated by the country's posts and telecommunications company, Zambia Postal Services, collided head-on with a truck in Chibombo area in Central Zambia along the Great North Road.

"The current number we have now is 54," Zambia Transport and Safety Agency chief Zindaba Soko told state broadcaster Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation late Thursday.

Authorities said this was the country's third worst accident, the last one of such magnitude being in the 90s when a state-operated defunct bus service the United Bus Company of Zambia overturned killing 76 people.

Zambia President Michael Sata late Thursday said in statement that he was saddened at the deaths.

"President Sata has sent a message of condolences to the families of the fifty three [53] people who have died in a road accident involving a Lusaka-bound bus which collided with a truck in Chibombo area this morning," said the statement.

"He is extremely saddened at the loss of more innocent lives in yet another road accident relating to public transport. 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."

Frequent accidents in Zambia are blamed on poor drivers and poor road network.

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