Moroccan bus collides with truck, 40 dead
At least 40 people have been killed and nine others injured when a bus carrying a delegation of young athletes rammed into a truck head-on in southern Morocco.
The accident occurred near the district of Chbika, which lies about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) southwest of the capital, Rabat, before sunrise at around 7:00 a.m. local time (0600 GMT) on Friday.
The tour bus was transporting the athletes and officials from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, who were heading back home to the city of el-Aaiún, which lies approximately 1,170 kilometers southwest of Rabat, after they had attended a national sports competition in the town of Bouznika.
The coach caught fire after hitting what the French-language economic daily L’Economiste identified as a tanker truck carrying hydrocarbons. Both vehicles then became engulfed in fireball.
It is believed a group of 14 children, aged 10 to 14, was among those travelling on the bus. Moroccan runner Hassan Issengar is reportedly among those killed.
Morocco’s Health Ministry has confirmed 40 people died in the tragic mishap, and that two of the injured passengers are in a serious condition.
Morocco is notorious for having some of the most dangerous roads in the world, with around 4,000 people dying on them every year.
Most of the North African country is served by two-lane roads, which are often in poor condition, and reckless driving is primarily responsible for the road deaths.
The worst bus crash in Morocco’s history came on September 4, 2012, when 42 people died after a coach plunged into a ravine on the road between Marrakech and the city of Ouarzazate.