Papua New Guinea is in shock after the road death of deputy Prime Minister Samuel Basil.
According to PNG police, Mr Basil was involved in a car accident at Wau-Bulolo Highway on Wednesday night.
A request has been made to the public to remain calm and refrain from taking actions that will result in violence and civil unrest.
In a statement issued by Police Commissioner David Manning, Mr Basil succumbed to injuries sustained in the vehicle collision.
Mr Manning said police believed that a second vehicle was involved in the freak accident and had fled the scene.
“Police have commenced its investigations into the accident and have ascertained that a second vehicle was involved in the incident and the driver of this vehicle is known,” he said in the statement.
“I appeal to any eye witnesses to the incident to come forward to assist investigators in their investigations.
“I would like to appeal for calm during this time and allow the course of the investigations to be completed in a timely manner.”
PNG police were at the site soon after the accident. They took Mr Basil and three others out of the wreck and transported them to a hospital in Bulolo.
Mr Basil was pronounced clinically dead at 11:30pm on Wednesday night.
“It is with great sadness that I wish to regrettably inform the Prime Minister, and the country of the death of our Deputy Prime Minister following severe injuries he sustained in a vehicle accident,” said Mr Manning.
“I wish to also express my condolences to Mr Basil’s immediate family and the people of Bulolo electorate.
“I also wish to express my gratitude to the many people and organisations that responded to the incident.”
Mr Basil also served as the Treasurer for PNG, and was the leader of the United Labour party.
He is the eighth MP who has died in this parliamentary term and this has happened just two months before the general elections.