13 dead in road accident in Oro

A major road accident in Northern Province has claimed the lives of 13 people today.

Reports reaching Loop PNG from a reliable source say that the casualty toll has been put at 20 with 13 confirmed dead while seven are in Intensive Care Unit at the Popondetta General Hospital.

According to Ramsay Afo in Popondetta, the PMV was travelling from Kokoda to Popondetta and the oil palm fruit truck travelling towards Kokoda at a high speed.

Afo, who was at the Popondetta General Hospital, told Loop PNG that the casualties might increase.

The fruit truck belongs to the Higaturu Oil Palms.

Meanwhile Oro Governor Garry Juffa also told Loop PNG that he had warned the company on many occasions to manage their activities with safety in mind.

Juffa said the drivers told him that their boss has advised them drive fast to squeeze as many loads as possible.

"Many times they do not secure their truck loads and fruits are dropped often near killing pedestrians.

"They even drive without number plates until I took their keys off them on several occasions.

"This is a total tragedy and if the company is at fault they must compensate the immediate families of the deceased."

Juffa also blamed the Oro Administration for turning a blind eye over a period of time and the Oro Police for not been stringently enforcing traffic laws.

He said drink driving and overloaded PMVs are common and totally blatant.

Picture courtesy of Ramsay Afo

Freddy Mou