Hearse Crashes Spilling Corpses

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By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK Double tragedy struck in a rather bizarre way over the weekend when a hearse carrying two corpses overturned, spilling its grim contents. The two bodies belong to individuals who were part of the group of 12 people who lost their lives a few weeks ago in a horrific crash between Kalkrand and Mariental. The accident occurred on the same stretch of road where all 12 lost their lives. Mariental Chief Inspector Kobus Meyer yesterday confirmed that at about 14h30 on Saturday a Toyota pick-up truck carrying two bodies from the Mariental mortuary to Kalkrand for burial, yesterday encountered an abrupt tyre burst, resulting in the driver losing control of the vehicle. The impact was so strong that the two coffins flew open spilling corpses onto the ground. “When we arrived at the scene we found the two bodies lying outside the car and we transported them to Kalkrand,” said the chief inspector. The incident took place about a kilometer before Kalkrand. The driver and the other two occupants of the vehicle however emerged from the crash alive and were miraculously uninjured. A few minutes before this double tragedy on the road, three people lost their lives when a Volkswagen Polo Classic and Jetta vehicles were involved in a side collision. The impact was so severe that it forced the Jetta off the main road and it burst into flames. With four occupants in the Jetta, two people sustained minor injuries on their arms and shoulders, while the driver who was trapped in the seat belt was burnt beyond recognition. Another occupant who was lying outside the vehicle also died in the inferno. The deceased could not be identified since the next of kin were not informed. Governor of the Hardap Region, Katrina Hanse, also confirmed the two accidents and expressed her sincere condolences to the bereaved families. She called on religious leaders to pray for Namibian roads especially the Kalkrand-Mariental road that has become “a death trap” for travellers. “We need prayers, maybe a day of prayers because this must be an evil spirit,” she grieved. Meanwhile, on Friday evening outside Walvis Bay, a minibus carrying 12 people overturned when the driver lost control. One person died while 10 others sustained mild injuries. One has since been flown to Cape Town. The International SOS operations manager could not disclose what injuries the victim sustained but said that “he was taken to South Africa because his surgeons are there”. Roughly three weeks ago, 12 people lost their lives about 30 km outside Kalkrand en route to Mariental. Last year May another horrific accident claimed 28 lives on the road between Grootfontein and Rundu. During the accident site memorial service, the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA) strongly appealed to both the private and public sectors to urgently embark on a national dialogue that will set up a national strategy to minimize accidents on Namibian roads. Despite the country’s road infrastructure being one of the best in the Southern African region, hundreds of Namibians have lost their lives due to motor accidents.