Papua New Guinea’s deputy prime minister, Sam Basil, has died after a car crash, police have said.
Basil died in hospital while awaiting airlift to Port Moresby late on Wednesday after the crash, which took place in the Wau-Bulolo region, Morobe province.
“Local police attended to the accident site and immediately retrieved the deputy prime minister and three other injured persons and transported them to Bulolo to seek medical attention at the Bulolo Health facility,” said David Manning, the police commissioner, in a statement.
“After hours of attempting to revive him Mr Basil succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced clinically dead at 11:30 pm last night.” Police later confirmed that a close protection officer travelling with Basil had also died.
Police launched an investigation into the accident and the second vehicle involved. The driver of that vehicle “was known”, Manning said, adding: “I appeal to any eyewitnesses to the incident to come forward to assist investigators in their investigations.”
Basil, the leader of the United Labour party, is the eighth MP to have died in this parliamentary term. His death comes two months before elections are due to take place.