Three Ni-Vanuatu Seasonal Workers Killed In Car Accident In Australia

Two others released from hospital following head-on collision between van and semi-trailer

By Godwin Ligo

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, June 26, 2017) – Three ni-Vanuatu seasonal workers in Australia have died and two others were admitted at Innisfail Hospital in Queensland, Australia, after the van they were in collided head-on with a semi-trailer on the highway.

The fatal incident reportedly occurred on Saturday morning.

This was confirmed to the Daily Post by a reliable source early Saturday morning, just hours after the reported accident.

Later on Saturday, a statement was issued by the Employment Service Unit of the Labour Department on the tragic incident.

“It is with sadness to inform the nation that three ni-Vanuatu Seasonal Workers (SWP) lost their lives in a car crash this morning ( Saturday 24th June, 2017) sometime around El Arish of Queensland Australia, on Bruce Highway.

“The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating the fatal traffic crash which happened around 2.30am, which sees a semi-trailer travelling south on the Bruce Highway and a mini-bus travelling north were involved in a head-on collision.

“Five SWP Vanuatu workers were on the mini-bus.

“The driver and two of the passengers were declared deceased at the scene and their remains are in Cairns Mortuary.

“Their names are: Malas Ioan, from Mele Village, Shefa Province; Kere Bridly, Lolovele Village, Ambae, Penama Province; and Vantegon Elten Bong Veta, Baiap Village, Ambrym, Malampa Province.

“The two other workers who were also involved in the accident are Charlie Seule and Etienne Malep,” the statement by the Employment Services Unit, Department of Labour, stated.

Latest reports say the two who were taken to hospital and were under observation but have been discharged.

“The Vanuatu Government and the agent responsible will arrange for the remains to be repatriated back to Vanuatu in the coming days.

“The Vanuatu Government through the Department of Labour would like to convey its condolence to all family members and friends of the deceased.

“We pray that the good Lord will grant to all family members and the nation, His joy unspeakable and full of glory and peace that surpasses all Understanding,” the official statement on the fatal accident in Australia stated.

A reliable source in Australia told the Daily Post that it will take some time before the bodies of the three deceased are repatriated to Vanuatu, as protocols have to be adhered to, including investigations and Coroner’s report.

Vanuatu Daily Post
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