By Nation Reporter
FIVE pupils and a teacher of Hillcrest High School died on the spot, while 11 others sustained serious injuries in an accident which happened on Friday night on the Great North Road near Kozo Lodge, about five kilometres south of Choma.
Meanwhile, General Education Minister John Phiri has described the accident as unfortunate.
Police Assistant Public Relations officer Esther Katongo confirmed the incident yesterday, saying that it happened around 22:00 hours on Friday.
Ms Katongo said the accident involved a Mitsubishi Rosa, a property of Hillcrest Technical School which was heading to Canisius Secondary School for games and a stationary DAF truck and trailer.
She noted that the accident occurred when the driver of the minibus wanted to overtake the stationary truck, but in the process hit into the same truck as he tried to get back to his lane upon seeing an oncoming motor vehicle.
“It happened when the driver of the minibus was overtaking a stationary truck and in the process hit into the same truck. Due to the impact, six people died on the spot while 11 were seriously injured and were admitted to Choma General Hospital. Twenty of the pupils were treated as outpatients,” Ms. Katongo said.
She said the bodies were lying in Choma General Hospital mortuary and that the driver of the minibus was detained for dangerous driving.
And Education Minister Dr. Phiri conveyed his condolences to the families of the deceased and school management.
He said the Ministry of General Education was saddened by the incident.
Dr Phiri, however, said all funeral expenses would be borne by government and that all arrangement would be communicated.
“The untimely death of five pupils and a teacher from Hillcrest Technical Secondary school in a road traffic accident is regrettable,” he said.
Dr. Phiri also stated that the Ministry had since suspended the Coca Cola sporting event that was scheduled to start yesterday in Monze at Canisius Secondary school until further notice.
He identified the deceased as Titus Hayungu (Grade 9), Gabriel Banda (G12), Kaputa Mukumbi (G11), Remmy Siame (G12), Robby Zulu G10 and Sikaaswe Siyasiya (teacher).