Highway not ready, police say

The National,Tuesday June 14th, 2016

POLICE has warned people in the New Guinea Islands to refrain from travelling along the New Britain Highway because it has not been certified for public use.
NGI Assistant Commissioner of Police Chief Supt Anton Billie said in Kokopo last week: “There have been a couple of fatal accidents along the new highway. I am warning road users to stop using the highway until the road is certified safe for public use.
“The road has not been officially opened and certified. The people are being ignorant to warnings and advice and are travelling at their own risk.”
Billie issued the warning following two recent fatal incidents along the highway. He said an accident along Open Bay at Mabilu River on May 24 claimed the life of a surveyor employed by the Lands Department.
The victim, identified as Anis Papalum Jr, was travelling with three expatriates from Toki Logging Camp to Open Bay when their vehicle ended up in the river and was swept away.
Billie said it was alleged that the victim had drowned while the others swam away.
The victim’s body was later recovered downstream.
Another fatal accident happened at the Toriu Block logging camp.
Billie said the victim was from Napapar 1 and employed by the company as a mechanic.
The victim had fixed the vehicle and taken it on a road test with the driver when the vehicle overturned, killing the victim instantly.