At least 26 killed in Haiti truck accident
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Wednesday April 11, 2012 – At least 26 people were killed when an overloaded truck overturned on a highway south of Haiti’s capital at the weekend.
While exact numbers conflict, Joel Charles, hospital director in the town of Petit-Goave, said: “We have counted 27 dead. Seriously injured people have passed away and we have other people in critical condition.”
Earlier reports put the death toll at 20 with 40 reported injured.
The tragedy occurred late Saturday afternoon when a truck carrying small retail traders, including women, toppled over on National Highway 2 near the Morne Tapion community.
In addition to passengers, the vehicle was overloaded with food and other merchandise being transported to the countryside.
A witness to the accident said the truck was climbing a steep incline when it lost its balance and went tumbling down.
“This is a dangerous road where accidents occur frequently,” said the witness who preferred to remain anonymous.
Four people were killed and a dozen injured in an accident in the same area just days prior to the tragedy.
Petit-Goave has only one modest hospital, but the humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders, which has been operating in the region since the 2010 earthquake, helped local authorities to evacuate many of Saturday’s injured to other medical facilities.
The impoverished nation’s infrastructure remains in poor shape after the earthquake, which killed some 250,000 people and left roads and buildings in and around the capital in ruins.
Fatal traffic accidents are common and many vehicles are habitually overloaded with passengers.
In January, at least 26 people were killed and 56 injured in a massive pile-up along a road on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince.