Tunisian bus plunges off cliff, killing at the least 24

Tunisian safety forces test the stays of a bus that plunged over a cliff right into a ravine, in Ain Snoussi in northern Tunisia on December 1, 2019 killing 24 folks (AFP Photograph/Fethi Belaid)

Ain Snoussi (Tunisia) (AFP) – No less than 24 Tunisians have been killed and 18 extra injured when a bus plunged right into a ravine on Sunday, in one of many nation’s worst street accidents.

The bus had set off from Tunis to the picturesque northern mountain city of Ain Draham, a well-liked autumn vacation spot for Tunisians close to the Algerian border, the tourism ministry mentioned.

Twenty-four folks have been killed and 18 injured, the victims aged between 20 and 30, mentioned the well being ministry.

An AFP group that went to the scene noticed the mangled stays of the bus leaning on its aspect within the ravine close to a river mattress, with its seats scattered across the crash web site.

The highest of the bus seems to have been torn off and our bodies, some in sports activities garments and trainers, have been strewn throughout the bottom.

An indication studying in English “Candy Time Journey” — apparently the title of the journey company that ferried the vacationers from Tunis — lay among the many particles.

The bus with 43 folks on board was travelling by the northern Ain Snoussi area when it veered off the street, the inside ministry mentioned.

The car had “fallen right into a ravine after crashing by an iron barrier”, it mentioned on its Fb web page.

The injured have been transferred to close by hospitals, it added.

Forensic consultants have been deployed to research the crash, AFP correspondents mentioned.

It was not instantly clear what prompted the accident, however Tunisian roads are recognized to be harmful and run-down.

– ‘Roads of demise’ –

Tourism Minister Rene Trabelsi instructed a personal radio station Mosaique FM that the “unlucky accident came about in a troublesome space” and simply after the bus had taken a “sharp bend”.

A civil defence official, talking on state tv, mentioned there had beforehand been lethal accidents on the identical spot.

Khaled Ayadi, who had arrived on the scene after the accident, instructed AFP he noticed the our bodies of “folks scattered (throughout) and blood”.

He mentioned that he and different motorists who had stopped by the aspect of the street began to assist and attempt to retrieve the our bodies till the rescuers arrived and took over the grotesque activity.

“On this street there are all the time accidents, particularly vehicles… We should discover a answer for this street so there aren’t any extra accidents,” Ayadi mentioned, including that Sunday’s accident was overwhelming.

Social community customers bemoaned the tragedy. “What a heavy toll,” one in every of them mentioned.

One other denounced the “roads of demise” in Tunisia and wrote: “24 useless and nobody from the federal government has declared a nationwide disaster”.

The World Well being Group in 2015 mentioned Tunisia had the second worst site visitors demise charge per capita in North Africa, behind solely war-torn Libya.

Consultants blamed run-down roads, reckless driving and poor car upkeep for an increase in accidents the next yr.

Tunisian President Kais Saied and Prime Minister Youssef Chahed visited the scene of Sunday’s accident, one in every of Tunisia’s worst.

In April, seven ladies day labourers have been amongst 12 folks killed when the pickup truck taking them to work collided with a minivan within the impoverished central area of Sidi Bouzid.

In August 2016, at the least 16 folks have been killed and 85 others wounded in one other street accident within the mountainous area of Kasserine.

The authorities recognise the dimensions of the issue however have mentioned the nation’s safety challenges, together with jihadist assaults, have stored them from giving it extra consideration.

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