Road accident kills 22 in Central African Republic

Bus overturned while trying to avoid pothole on highway between cities of Bossembele, Yaloke, 48 injured

Road accident kills 22 in Central African Republic

YAOUNDE, Cameroon  

A bus carrying 70 people from the Central African capital Bangui to Cameroon overturned on the highway, killing at least 22 passengers, local authorities said.

"The tragedy occurred early Sunday afternoon on the road which connects Bangui to the city of Garoua-Boulai east of the Republic of Cameroon," Augustin Volongao, mayor of Bossembele, told Anadolu Agency late Monday.

Volongao said the bus overturned while trying to avoid a pothole on the high way between Bossembele and Yaloke, 157 kilometers (97.5 miles) from Bangui.

Peacekeepers from the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic helped remove the victims stuck in the scrap metal, according to the mayor.

“The first aid took a long time because the bus had to be turned over to bring out the trapped people. 22 people were killed on the spot and 48 others were injured. The victims were evacuated to a Bossembele hospital," Volongao said, adding that the death toll could increase.

Roads are in extremely poor conditions throughout the Central African Republic. Most of them are unpaved and receive almost no maintenance.

During the rainy season, most roads outside central Bangui become impassable due to flooding and the lack of drainage.

Overland travel times are often much longer than what one would expect due to poor road conditions, frequency of vehicle disablement, unpredictable traffic, and checkpoints, according to the Overseas Security Advisory Council, Central African Republic 2019 Crime & Safety Report.

*Rodrigue Forku contributed to this story.

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