A large goods transport vehicle hit three other vehicles at high speed, including two buses, due to a braking system failure in the city of Goma, the local mayor said.

FILE PHOTO: Civilians look at the wreckage of a public transport van following an accident in Mont-Ngafula district of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo on February 16, 2020.
FILE PHOTO: Civilians look at the wreckage of a public transport van following an accident in Mont-Ngafula district of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo on February 16, 2020. (Reuters Archive)

At least 25 people have been killed after a large truck smashed into three vehicles on the road to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo city of Goma, the local mayor said.

"Due to a braking system failure, a large goods transport vehicle hit three other vehicles at high speed, including two buses," Goma mayor Timothee Mwissa Kiense told AFP.

"The provisional death toll is 25 people killed at the scene."

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The accident occurred in the early evening on a section of steep road, he said, adding those injured had been taken to hospital.

Faustin Zabayo, a resident who took part in the rescue operation, told AFP that he "saw 26 bodies being taken to the morgue."

The accident occurred on DR Congo's national route 4, which is a crucial food trade link between North Kivu province's capital Goma to the Rutshuru territory and the cities of Butembo and Beni.

Deadly traffic accidents are common in DR Congo, a vast country the size of continental western Europe, where mostly dirt roads are poorly maintained.

The National Road Safety Commission said there were 1,895 road accidents in North Kivu alone in 2019, in which 261 people were killed. 

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Source: AFP