By YVONNE HAIP
A PREGNANT woman, a Pentecostal church pastor and another man reportedly died while others were injured during a road accident in Western Highlands yesterday, The National reports.
They were travelling in a 15-seater PMV bus to Mt Hagen from Chimbu at around midday when the accident occurred near the Nazarene Bible College at Wara Tuman along the Highlands Highway.
Police investigators were yet to confirm the details of the accident.
However, eyewitnesses, who were at the roadside, said the bus went off the road after a front tyre had burst.
The Kudjip and Mt Hagen hospitals received the victims and confirmed that three had died while others were being hospitalised.
Mourners who turned up the hospital, including a female pastor who had been travelling in the same bus but got dropped off earlier at her village in Kumbal, near the Chimbu and Western Highlands border, said they were returning from a religious gathering in Chimbu.
Gabriel Kuk, who helped health workers transfer the injured from the bus to a waiting ambulance, claimed the bus had been travelling at high speed when one of its front tyres burst.
He said the vehicle ended up in a nearby drain.
Kuk said there were 12 passengers and most of them were taken to the Kudjip Hospital for treatment. Two were transported in an ambulance to Mt Hagen.
Hospital staff transporting the injured told The National that a pregnant woman, a church pastor and another man had died during the accident.
Staff at the accidents and emergency ward at the Mt Hagen Hospital said the pastor died on arrival while the bus driver was in critical condition.
In Kudjip, more patients were being treated. A church pastor and a youth were in critical condition.