Head-on col­li­sion of truck and bus kills 31 in Morocco

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

A fiery head-on col­li­sion be­tween a semi-trailer truck and a bus car­ry­ing a del­e­ga­tion of young ath­letes in south­ern Morocco on Fri­day killed 31 peo­ple and in­jured nine, ac­cord­ing to the state news agency and lo­cal me­dia re­ports.

The news agency quoted au­thor­i­ties say­ing the crash took place just be­fore sun­rise at 7 a.m. in the dis­trict of Ch­bika, near the south­ern desert city of Tan-Tan.

A video posted by the Frenchl an­guage eco­nomic daily L’Economiste shows the flam­ing wreck­age of the tour bus, which caught fire af­ter hit­ting what the news­pa­per iden­ti­fied as a tanker truck car­ry­ing hy­dro­car­bons.

Peo­ple wan­der around the flam­ing frame of the bus — the truck has been flat­tened and ap­par­ently com­pletely de­stroyed — in a bleak desert land­scape.

Ac­cord­ing to de­tails pro­vided by the Le360.ma news site, the bus was car­ry­ing young ath­letes and of­fi­cials from the Min­istry of Youth and Sports that were in­volved in a na­tional sports com­pe­ti­tion.

The Les Ecos news­pa­per re­ported on its web­site that the ath­letes were from the north­ern town of Bouznika and from Laay­oune, a city fur­ther to the south in the an­nexed West­ern Sa­hara ter­ri­tory. It added that cel­e­brated 10-kilo­me­ter run­ner Has­san Is­sen­gar, 31, was among the dead.

Ac­cord­ing to the U.S. State Depart­ment web­site, traf­fic ac­ci­dents are a “sig­nif­i­cant haz­ard” in Morocco.

Although there are mod­ern high­ways be­tween the main cities, the rest of the coun­try is served by two lane roads, of­ten in poor con­di­tion and reck­less driv­ing habits, such as over­tak­ing on curves, are quite com­mon.

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