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53 killed in Zambia bus accident

LUSAKA, Zambia — A bus operated by Zambia’s postal service carrying passengers toward its capital smashed into a semi-truck and another car Thursday, killing at least 53 people in one of the worst traffic crashes in the nation in recent history, officials said.

The crash happened Thursday morning near the town of Chifamba, about 60 miles north of Lusaka, police spokeswoman Elizabeth Kanjela said. Images carried by local media in Zambia showed rescuers climbing over the smashed-in front-end of the white bus, the remains of the orange semi-truck in pieces in front of it. Other images showed corpses laying alongside the two-lane highway that connects the capital to Tanzania.

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Kennedy Sakeni, Zambia’s information minister, said at least 53 people died in the crash, while another 22 had been taken to local hospitals. A sport utility vehicle also was involved in the crash, he said.

Kanjela said rescuers still couldn’t get into the bus to see if any other bodies remained inside, even hours after the crash. Police were continuing their investigation Thursday night. The two-lane highway where the crash happened is known for having high traffic, even during the night.

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