Several people were rushed to Balaka District Hospital in eastern Malawi with various degrees of injuries on Wednesday following a collision between a train and a passenger bus around 6pm in Balaka.
Five of the 28 people were still admitted to the hospital on Thursday whereas the rest were treated as out-patients.
The accident involving a National Bus Company bus registration number BQ 1601 travelling to Mzuzu from Blantyre happened at a rail-crossing.
Residents said a resounding thud was heard in the business town and nearby locations after the locomotive hit the bus as it crossed the railway line. The locomotive dragged the bus into the rails for about six metres.
The driver of the bus, Willard Chipinga, fled the accident scene as panic engulfed passengers, some of whom broke window panes and jumped out in a state of confusion.
Balaka Police spokesperson Joseph Sauka said Chipinga surrendered himself to police at Liwonde. He is yet to be charged, said Sauka.
The driver of the locomotive, Rodrick Makaka, said he was conducting a normal shunting when the accident occurred.
â€œAfter I had dropped passengers from Bilila at Balaka station, I started shunting the train. I hooted as usual. While some few metres away from the rail crossroad, I saw a bus coming from my left direction, of course, at a normal speed.
â€œSurprisingly, the driver never stopped at the rail crossroad. Maybe he thought I was very far away, that is when we collided,â€ claimed Makaka.
Sauka said one woman sustained serious injuries while four others who suffered multiple cuts on the head, arms and legs are stable.
National Bus Company general manager Cuthbert Chinguwo said he could not comment on the accident as the matter is under investigations by both the police and the bus company.
â€œWe have also sent a team to investigate so we cannot give details at the moment,â€ said Chinguwo.Â