2 deaths from accident, Alotau shuts down

Alotau town in Milne Bay Province is on shutdown today following an alleged hit-and-run accident by disciplined forces between 10.30 and 11.30am.

Four women and a child were knocked down this morning by a hired vehicle used by police from Lae.

“It was instant death for the child, who was around 5-6 years old, while one of the women passed away whilst under treatment at Alotau Health Centre at about 1-2pm,” said Milne Bay provincial police commander, George Bayagau.

“The other three are fighting for their lives.”

Bayagau said the visiting police personnel were on their way to APEC in Port Moresby.

“They’ve been here with me for almost a week now. They were travelling inbound Alotau, and just on the outskirts of Alotau this incident happened.

“We are investigating allegations of drunk driving.”

Following the accident, at around 12pm today, shots were heard at the town area as reports surfaced of frustrated villagers mobilizing.

It is believed police were shooting indiscriminately in warning at the gathering crowd.

The East Cape and North Coast Highway have been blocked as aggrieved members of the group demand that the local MP, Charles Abel, and the government address this issue.

“The accident happened at Kwaini and from there and Viole, they have blocked the road; fallen trees and stones have been placed in the middle of the road.

“I have spoken with the people and told them that nobody is above the law and they should let the law deal with the case.

“It’s an accident and therefore the road should be cleared and vehicles allowed to move freely but they still stand that until and unless they’re satisfied, the road will still be blocked.”

Tension is currently high as business houses, shops and PMVs ceased their services. 

Carmella Gware
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