Container Disaster Leaves 3 Dead, 11 Injured

Government urged to impound faulty trucks

Driver Kamara, the overturned containers with Keh-keh smashed under it last Saturday

A truck loaded with two 20 foot containers spun out of control last Saturday on Johnson Street due to brake failure, killing three persons and injuring several others.

Eye-witnesses told the Daily Observer that the incident occurred around 5 p.m.

“The driver crossed Benson Street and was moving towards Rally Time Market when it was discovered that the brakes could not hold.

“The truck driver jumped down from the driver’s seat and, together with his car boy, began to place rocks and other objects [behind the tyres] to stop the truck,” a witness said.

He explained that the driver and his helpers threw rocks and other objects in the truck’s way but because that part of Johnson Street slopes down toward the market, the truck kept rolling over them, causing the two containers to shake violently.

The eye witness said as the truck gave in to gravity, they shouted to petty traders in the vicinity to get out of the way for their safety.

“As the truck rocked its way downhill,” he said, “many people fled, but there were others who did not know what was going on.”

Truck driver Mahammed Kamara and his assistant frantically made efforts to bring the truck under control but without success.

It was when the truck bounced over the objects meant to stop it, that the containers fell off, killing three persons that were aboard an advancing yellow keh-keh (tri-cycle) and wounding eleven others.

The confusion during the incident brought the area to a standstill as many people wept for those who were trapped under the container, including the injured.

Meanwhile, a statement from the Liberia National Police (LNP) said it has begun investigations, confirming that three persons were killed in the accident. Eleven others sustained injuries of various degrees and are undergoing medical treatment at the J.F.K. Medical Center in Sinkor, Monrovia.

An LNP release said among the wounded was Super FM program producer Rose Zazay, who sustained wounds on both legs. The LNP said it is yet to establish the cause of the accident.

The truck driver, Mohammed Kamara, 38, is reportedly assisting the LNP in its investigation.

The LNP said “Under Chapter 5 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law of Liberia, captioned Civil Liability,  every owner of a vehicle operated on any highway to which this title is applicable shall be liable and responsible for deaths or injuries to a person or property(ies) resulting from negligence in the use or operation of such a vehicle.”

Many people interviewed by the Daily Observer appealed to the government to regulate the time that heavy laden container trucks operate in the city.

“Most of the container trucks are faulty,” said a young woman who saw the accident, adding, “the truck’s brake gave up and that was why the accident took place.”

She appealed to the LNP to work along with the Ministry of Transport to ensure that faulty trucks are removed from the streets of Monrovia and are not allowed to haul heavy containers.

“We have to be proactive to prevent accidents from happening,” she said. “It is bad for the government to allow preventable accidents to take place that (take away) precious lives.”

Eye witnesses recalled that due to faulty vehicles, many Liberians have lost their lives and Saturday’s accident should claim the attention of the government.

“The Ministry of Transport and the LNP should visit the Freeport of Monrovia and examine all container vehicles and remove those not road worthy from the streets. That way we would prevent future unnecessary deaths,” she said.

In a related development, another container truck reportedly lost control and fell on its side near the Bong Mines Bridge, outside Monrovia last evening. Although no casualty was reported, the situation created a prolonged traffic jam in the area.


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