By YVONNE HAIP
WESTERN Highlands police are still trying to find out what happened in the two road accidents on Monday morning that claimed five lives.
Metropolitan Supt Peter Roari told The National that the facts “are still unclear” because the victims were rushed to different hospitals and some were treated and discharged.
He said the patients were taken to Kudjip and Mt Hagen general hospitals, making it difficult for the police to confirm the number of victims.
Many are still in serious condition in the two hospitals.
At about 7am on Monday, a 25-seater bus plunged into a ravine in Paiakona in upper Nebillyer, killing four people, including a baby girl and her mother.
The other accident in Baiyer claimed the life of a man when a Dyna truck turned turtle, injuring several others.
Mr Roari said: “We still don’t know whether the drivers survived the accidents.
“The identities of the dead are yet to be established.”
Meanwhile, a provincial community-based organisation was calling on the Works and Transport Minister to look into the matter and activate the national road safety office so that some form of order was in place.
Safe Environment president Dokta Puk said traffic officers should issue licences only after testing the drivers.
“The drivers must also be aware of traffic rules and other information before they get their licence,” he added.
He said vehicles should be inspected frequently by traffic police at roadblocks, not only during festive periods.
Mr Puk said most of the buses plying in town were not roadworthy and called for tougher laws and enforcement.