Accident Claims 12 Lives

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By Hoandi !Gaeb Mariental A regular church congregation of the Elim Pentecostal Church at Mariental ended in a tragedy on Sunday when 12 people died in a horror accident (one of them burnt to death) on the main road between Rehoboth and Kalkrand. Three cars were involved in the tragic accident that is believed to be one of the worst in recent memory on the B1 main road to South Africa. Most of the deceased, four of them children were travelling in a northbound minibus after attending a church meeting at Mariental when the accident happened some 50 km outside Kalkrand. It is believed that a sedan car was overtaking a bakkie in the face of the minibus. The sedan car then tried to get back to its lane, but it collided with the bakkie from behind and forced it to land in the same lane as the approaching minibus. One of the people in the pick-up truck was reportedly cremated alive. All 20 people involved in the accident were transported to the Mariental State Hospital and those who survived the accident are all being treated for fractures. The Governor of the Hardap Region, Katrina Hanse was among the first people to arrive at the Mariental State Hospital where medical staff was battling to nurse those who had been injured. Hanse told New Era yesterday that she is deeply shocked by the accident in which so many responsible Namibians lost their lives due to the reckless actions of one driver. She said some of the people in the minibus are known to her personally as they had attended a church meeting as well as a funeral of a relative of hers at Mariental. “I spoke to these people personally at the funeral over the weekend and I know them as converted and responsible Christians who died because of irresponsible driving by some people on our national roads.” The governor said she spoke to some of the people who survived the accident at the Mariental State Hospital and familiarised herself with the situation on the ground. “It is regrettable and painful that so many people, in the case of the Moss family, who were involved in the horror accident had to die at once.” Moss and his son as well as two of his nephews died in the accident. His wife was also in the minibus but had disembarked at Kalkrand to attend to an ill family member at the town. “It could have been even worse,” Hanse said. The governor called on the relevant authorities to ensure that “road hoo- ligans” are dealt with properly. “We need considerate drivers on our national road,” she concluded. The Mariental police confirmed the accident, but could not release the names of the deceased, as their next of kin had not been informed.