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Published: Thursday February 27, 2014 MYT 3:25:02 PM
Updated: Thursday February 27, 2014 MYT 3:25:57 PM

Five killed in South Africa explosives truck accident

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Four South African police officers and a motorist were killed on Thursday after a vehicle collided with a truck carrying explosives on the main highway between Johannesburg and Zimbabwe.

Three other officers were seriously injured in the blast, which blew a crater in the middle of the motorway in the northern province of Limpopo and scattered debris over several hundred metres.

"A grocery truck collided with a truck carrying blasting cartridges and soon after the police arrived on the scene of the collision the cartridges went off," the government said in a statement.

The highway was closed in both directions.

Road use is the primary means of travel in Africa's largest economy. The government has introduced tough laws to clamp down on reckless driving and poorly maintained vehicles in an attempt to curb high accident rates.

(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Ed Cropley)

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