, DAR ES SALAAM, Mar 11- At least 40 people were killed and 23 seriously injured on Wednesday in a collision between a bus and a truck in central Tanzania, officials said.
A statement from the president’s office said the packed passenger bus was travelling between the western town of Mbeya and the economic capital and coastal city of Dar es Salaam when it was crushed by a container truck travelling in the opposite direction.
“The container fell on the bus when the truck carrying the container swayed while attempting to avoid potholes along the road,” said regional police commander Ramadhani Mungi.
The accident occurred near Changarawe in the centre of the country, and around 550 kilometres west of Dar es Salaam.
“This gives cause for great mourning. The entire country has been shaken,” the east African nation’s President Jakaya Kikwete said in a statement, confirming that at least 40 people were dead.
Serious road accidents are common in the region, due to overloaded and poorly-maintained vehicles, excessive speeding and poor roads.
The accident is the worst to be reported in Tanzania since 2006, when 54 people died when a bus fell off a bridge and into a river north of the town of Arusha.