Latin America & Caribbean

Guatemala hit-and-run crash kills 18 bystanders

Emergency services attend to bodies on the road following the hit and run Image copyright CECILO CHACAJ/MUNICIPAL FIREFIGH
Image caption The pedestrians had been looking at the scene of a previous hit and run when the truck ploughed into them

At least 18 people have been killed after a truck ploughed into a crowd in Guatemala.

The victims were looking at the scene of a previous accident in the western town of Nahuala when the truck struck them late on Wednesday. The driver then fled the scene.

The ministry of health said 19 people had been taken to hospital with injuries.

Guatemala's government has declared three days of national mourning.

Images from the scene show emergency services lining up the victims' bodies on the road.

The truck driver escaped the scene after the incident, but police spokesman Pablo Castillo said the authorities managed to capture a suspect following a high speed chase.

A 28-year old man identified as Pedro Rene Lorenzo Lopez was in police custody, the spokesman added.

Guatemala's president Jimmy Morales wrote on Twitter: "At this time we are co-ordinating our response to bring full support to the relatives of the victims. My heartfelt condolences."

The country has seen several major accidents on its roads in recent years. In 2013, 43 people were killed when a bus plunged 200m (660ft) into a ravine.

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