Nine wounded, five critically
An early morning major car accident on Sunday January 18th on the newly opened Addis-Adama expressway has left eleven people dead on impact and nine people wounded. Five of the wounded have received life threatening wounds and are in critical conditions, an investigating officer told Addis Standard.
The accident happened early at around 6:00 am when a driver of a Sinotruk coming from Adama, the former capital of Oromia regional state 100 kms South of Addis Abeba, lost its track and derailed into the separation fence of the six lane expressway. The Sinotruck then hit a minivan carrying 16 people and was speeding from Addis Abeba to Adama, reducing the minivan to a quarter of its original size and killing the eleven people on board on impact.
“We have no idea how this could possibly happen,” an investigating officer on the spot told Addis Standard, “we are unable to know whether the driver of the truck is amongst the dead or has left the accident scene.” The driver and the assistant on the minivan were among the dead. Most of the passengers on the minivan were people going to celebrate the Epiphany celebrations of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church with their loved ones, the investigating office who wants to remain anonymous told us.
Due to massive construction works throughout the country, Ethiopia has seen a sharp increase in the numbers of the Chinese made Sinotruks. However, many Ethiopians complain of horrific car accidents caused by these tucks as most of them are operated by poorly trained drivers.
The 84.5 km Addis-Adama expressway, the first for the country, opened for traffic on Sep. 14th 2014. The six-lane expressway was built by China Communications and Construction Co. (CCCC) and financed by the government in Ethiopia and Exim Bank of china, which provided a US$800 million. The expressway has seven toll stations between Tulu Dimtu on the outskirts of Addis Abeba, and the last point in the western part of Adama.
Ed’s Note: the original version of this story stated Adama as the “capital of the Oromia Regional State.” It should however be stated as “the former capital”. Sorry!