Latin America & Caribbean

Runaway bus 'kills 34' in Haitian city of Gonaives

View of the bus that lost control and drove into members of a band, according to local relief officials, is impounded at a police station for further investigation, in Gonaives, north of Haiti, 12 March 2017 Image copyright EPA
Image caption The bus has been impounded at a police station for further investigation

At least 34 people have been killed after a runaway bus veered into crowd in the Haitian city of Gonaives, officials say.

The vehicle first knocked over two pedestrians, killing one, French-language media report. The driver then tried to flee the scene.

He rammed the bus into a band of street musicians, leaving dozens dead, according to unconfirmed reports.

Gonaives is located 150km (90 miles) north of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

The incident on Sunday left dozens of people injured, who were quickly transported to hospital by the emergency services.

Witnesses gathered at the scene became hostile after seeing the driver attempt to flee, which caused further deaths and injuries, AFP reports, adding that they then tried to set the vehicle alight.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The victims have been receiving medical treatment at a nearby hospital

"The people who were not victims of the accident tried to burn the bus with the passengers inside," said Faustin Joseph, a civic protection co-ordinator for the Artibonite region.

"The bus, the passengers and the driver were all placed into the care of the local authorities", he added.

The vehicle was travelling to Port-au-Prince when it crashed into a rara parade, a traditional street celebration involving local musicians, in Gonaives, Reuters news agency reports.

It was not immediately clear what caused it to veer off course.

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