35 Killed In Saudi Arabia Bus Crash

Medina, Qatif, Saudi Arabia

 

Thirty-five foreigners were killed and four others injured when a bus collided with another heavy vehicle near the Islamic holy city of Medina, Saudi state media said on Thursday.

The accident on Wednesday evening involved the collision of “a private chartered bus… with a heavy vehicle” near the western city, a spokesman for Medina police said, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

Those involved were Arab and Asian pilgrims travelling from Medina to Mecca, according to local media, which carried pictures of the bus engulfed in flames and with its windows blown out.

The injured have been transferred to Al-Hamna Hospital, SPA added. Authorities have launched an investigation.

The Okaz newspaper said that the victims were expatriates who lived in the kingdom and who were performing the umrah, the lesser pilgrimage to the Muslim holy places which can be undertaken year round.

This year, some 2.5 million faithful travelled to Saudi Arabia from across the world in August to take part in the annual hajj pilgrimage — one of the five pillars of Islam.

The hajj and the umrah centre on the western city of Mecca and its surrounding hills and valleys, but the itinerary also often takes in the other holy city of Medina.

Last year, a high-speed train line was opened linking Mecca and Medina in just two and a half hours, halving the previous travel time.

Prince Faisal bin Salman, the governor of Medina region, expressed his condolences to the families of the victims, SPA said.

Pakistan said four people survived the bus crash, including one of its nationals, while several other Pakistani citizens were killed.

“It has been reported that 35 passengers out of total 39 lost their lives,” the foreign ministry in Islamabad said in a statement.

“Initial reports indicate that the deceased also include a certain number of Pakistani nationals. Of the four (4) survivors, there is one Pakistani named Mr. Akbar, who is seriously injured,” it added.

 Transport Challenge 

The nationalities of the other victims was not immediately known but Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also sent his condolences.

“Anguished by the news of a bus crash near Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. Praying for a quick recovery of the injured,” he tweeted.

Transporting worshippers around the holy sites, particularly during the hajj, is a huge challenge for Saudi Arabia.

During the pilgrimage, the roads can be chaotic with thousands of buses creating interminable traffic jams.

Four British pilgrims were killed and 12 others injured in April last year when their bus collided with a fuel tanker while they were on the way to Mecca.

And in January 2017, six Britons, including a two-month-old baby, were killed in a minibus on their way to Medina after making a pilgrimage to Mecca.

In September 2015, a stampede killed up to 2,300 worshippers — including hundreds of Iranians — in the worst disaster ever to strike the hajj.

Earlier that month, 100 people were killed when a construction crane toppled into a courtyard of Mecca’s Grand Mosque.

As part of efforts to diversify its oil-dependent economy, the ultra-conservative kingdom wants to foster a year-round religious tourism sector that attracts millions of pilgrims.

Up until last month, it only issued visas to Muslim pilgrims, foreign workers and recently to spectators at sporting or cultural events, but tourists are now allowed to visit as part of the drive to wean the biggest Arab economy off its dependence on oil.

14 Killed, 21 Injured In Bolivia Bus Crash

Map of Bolivia

 

A bus carrying volunteer doctors from La Paz towards the north of Bolivia crashed leaving 14 dead and 21 injured, the La Paz local government said on Monday.

The doctors were part of the MedFund foundation based in La Paz and were heading to five villages in the region around Apolo to the north of La Paz.

According to reports, the bus fell into a ravine on Sunday night close to Charazani, around 250 kilometers (150 miles) to the north of La Paz.

Amongst the dead were 11 woman, according to Daniel Quelca, the health service co-ordinator for the Apolobamba region.

Bolivia has a sorry record when it comes to highway safety, and crashes involving buses travelling at night are common.

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The worst accident this year came in April when 25 people died when a head-on collision between two vehicles sent a bus crashing into a ravine to the north of La Paz.

In February, 24 people died in an accident between a bus and a truck in Oruro.

And in January, 34 people died over a weekend in two separate incidents, the first a collision between two buses on the road between the southern regions of Oruro and Potosi, and the second when a bus careered over a cliff edge near the capital Sucre, in the center-south of the country.

Bolivia’s authorities have shown little appetite to tackle the problem, with President Evo Morales writing on Twitter after the April accident: “To our brother drivers we ask you to always be very careful.”

AFP

Dubai Bus Crash Kills 17

 

Twelve Indians were among 17 people who were killed in Dubai when their bus crashed into a road sign after entering a restricted lane, police and the Indian consulate said.

The bus, registered in Oman, was making its way into Dubai from Muscat with 31 passengers of different nationalities on board when the accident occurred on Thursday night, Dubai police said in a tweet.

It blamed the Omani driver, who was moderately injured, for the crash saying “at times a small mistake or negligence can lead to adverse consequences”.

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The Indian consulate in Dubai said 12 nationals were killed in the crash. The identities of the other four victims was not immediately known.

Emarat Al-Youm newspaper, citing Dubai police officials, said the accident occurred when the driver entered a lane not designated for buses.

The bus crashed into a height restriction sign, it said.

The bus company Mwasalat said five people were also injured in the accident.

It apologised for the crash and said it was suspending all trips between Muscat and Dubai until further notice.

Mwasalat said it was working closely with Dubai authorities to investigate the accident.

29 German Tourists Killed In Argentina Bus Crash

 

The Portuguese island of Madeira on Thursday began three days of mourning after 29 German tourists died after their bus spun off the road and tumbled down a slope before crashing into a house.

Drone footage of the aftermath of the accident near the town of Canico showed the badly mangled wreckage resting precariously on its side against a building on a hillside, the vehicle’s roof partially crushed and front window smashed.

Rescue workers attended to injured passengers among the undergrowth where the bus came to a halt, some of them bearing bloodied head bandages and bloodstained clothes, others appearing to be more seriously hurt.

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Local authorities said most of the dead were in their 40s and 50s. There were 11 men and 18 women were among the victims and all of them were German.

They were among the more than one million tourists who visit the Atlantic islands off the coast of Morocco each year, attracted by its subtropical climate and rugged volcanic terrain.

“Horrible news comes to us from Madeira,” a German government spokesman tweeted after the crash.

“Our deep sorrow goes to all those who lost their lives in the bus accident, our thoughts are with the injured,” he added.

The 50-odd tourists had left their hotel and were on their way to the regional capital Funchal when the accident occurred on Wednesday evening.

Prosecutors have opened a probe and the vice-president of the regional government Pedro Calado said it was “premature” to attribute the cause of the accident, saying the bus was five years old and has been recently inspected.

 ‘Terrible images’ 

The injured were “in a state of shock, with memories of terrible images. An injured woman said she had lost her partner,” Ilse Everlien Berardo, the pastor at the German Evangelical church in Madeira, told Germany’s RTL network.

He said local authorities were trying to find “people on the island who speak German. Even though the doctors and nurses are tending to the injured with great care and compassion, it’s important for the injured to hear their mother tongue,” he said.

A makeshift morgue has been set up at the airport in Funchal, local media reports said. Medical teams will be flown in from Lisbon to carry out autopsies.

German holidaymakers were the second largest group after British tourists to visit the islands — known as the Pearl of the Atlantic and the Floating Garden in the Atlantic — in 2017, according to Madeira’s tourism office.

The islands are home to just 270,000 inhabitants.

“I express the sorrow and solidarity of all the Portuguese people in this tragic moment, and especially for the families of the victims who I have been told were all German,” President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa told Portuguese television.

 ‘Profound sadness’ 

Prime Minister Antonio Costa added on Twitter that he had contacted German Chancellor Angela Merkel to convey his condolences

“It is with profound sadness that I heard of the accident on Madeira,” he wrote on the government’s Twitter page.

“I took the occasion to convey my sadness to Chancellor Angela Merkel at this difficult time,” he added.

The last serious bus accident in Madeira occurred in December 2005, killing five Italian tourists in Sao Vicente.

AFP

Four Children, Three Adults Killed In Russia Bus Crash

Russia Flag

 

At least seven people, four of them children, were killed on Sunday after a bus came off the road and overturned in Russia, according to officials.

The bus had been carrying children from the western city of Smolensk to the Kaluga region, south of Moscow, media reported.

“As a result of a road accident, seven people were killed, four of whom were minors. Twenty-four people were taken to hospital,” the Kaluga region interior ministry said in a statement.

Most of those hospitalised were also children, Russian agencies quoted officials as saying.

Pictures released by local police showed the blue bus overturned in snow at the side of the road, with its windscreen shattered.

A criminal case had been opened against the driver of the vehicle, the ministry added.

Russia ranks among the world’s worst countries for road deaths, mainly due to alcoholism, the poor condition of the roads and failure to follow traffic regulations.

The number of road deaths has declined in recent years but still remains around 20,000 annually.

tm/jj

Six Schoolchildren, Driver Killed In India Bus Crash

File photo/ AFP

 

Six children were killed alongside their driver and 12 more were injured after their bus fell into a gorge in northern India on Saturday, police said.

The driver of the bus also died in the accident, while seven injured students were said to be in a critical condition after their vehicle crashed in the Himalayan mountains.

“The dead include six school children and the driver of the bus,” Rohit Malpani, a senior police officer in Sirmaur district, told AFP.

All children aboard were between four and 14 years old, he added.

The children were students at a school in a remote area of mountainous Himachal Pradesh state.

Officials did not explain the cause of the accident.

Careless driving and bad, narrow and winding roads in the Himalayas cause frequent accidents, with vehicles often slipping into deep gorges.

In India, an average of 150,000 people die in road accidents each year.

AFP

51 Killed In Kenyan Bus Crash

The scene of a bus crash (file) Credit: AFP

 

Fifty-one people were killed when the bus they were travelling in overturned and its entire roof was ripped off in an accident in western Kenya early Wednesday, police said.

“It is unfortunate that we have lost 51 people,” Kenya’s police chief Joseph Boinnet told Capital FM radio.

According to police, the bus was travelling from Nairobi to the western town of Kakamega and carrying 52 passengers.

The Kenyan Red Cross wrote on Twitter that it had overturned. However, more details on the cause of the accident were not immediately available.

Footage from the scene showed the faded red bus lying on its side, the seats and mangled bits of metal exposed to the air with the torn-off roof lying at a distance.

Dozens of people milled around the accident site and goods were strewn over a large area.

Official statistics show that around 3,000 people die annually in road accidents in Kenya, but the World Health Organization estimates the figure could be as high as 12,000.

In December 2017, 36 people died in a head-on collision between a bus and a lorry.

In 2016 more than 40 people died when an out-of-control fuel tanker ploughed into vehicles and then exploded on a busy highway.

At Least 14 Killed In Indonesia Bus Crash

12 Killed In Bali Village Landslide In Indonesia

 

At least 14 people died and several others were injured when a bus carrying domestic tourists crashed and plunged into a ravine on the Indonesian island of Java, police said Saturday.

The crash happened when the bus with at least 30 people on board was heading to a holiday spot in Sukabumi region, West Java.

The vehicle was seen speeding downhill and lost control before plunging into a 10-metre-deep ravine.

“The general hospital reported that there are at least 14 bodies in the morgue,” local police chief Nasriadi, who uses only one name, told AFP, adding that police are still collecting data on the injured.

Victims who were injured had been taken to several local hospitals.

Police suspect a mechanical failure after finding the vehicle’s road-worthy certificate had expired in 2016.

The bus was part of a four-bus tour from Jakarta heading to a rafting spot in Pelabuhan Ratu, Sukabumi.

Passengers from other buses who arrived safely at the destination told the police they had seen smoke coming from the engine of the bus before it embarked on the journey.

Authorities have issued repeated warnings that the route where the accident occurred was not suitable for buses due to the narrowness of the road and multiple tight corners.

On Friday, another bus carrying 21 people also crashed in the same region, killing one and injuring the rest.

Transport accidents are common in Indonesia, where buses and trains are often old and badly maintained.

In February at least 27 people died when a bus with 40 domestic tourists on board hit a motorbike and crashed in Subang region, also in West Java.

22 Killed In Ecuador Bus Accident

The scene of a bus crash                                                                                                 BASIT GILANI / AFP

 

Twenty-two people were killed and 18 injured when an inter-country bus crashed outside Ecuador’s capital Quito, emergency services said Tuesday. Venezuelans and Colombians were among the dead, officials said.

The bus crashed into another vehicle some 30 kilometers (20 miles) east of Quito, the ECU911 office said.

The embassies of the foreign victims have been notified, the emergency service said.

On Sunday, 12 people were killed and 30 injured when a bus carrying fans of Barcelona S.C., Ecuador’s most popular football club, ran off the highway and flipped.

Traffic accidents are among the leading causes of death in Ecuador. According to the watchdog group Justicia Vial, on average seven people are killed and some 80 people injured each day in traffic accidents.

And 96 percent of those accidents are due to human error, usually the driver’s fault, according to the group’s figures.

AFP

14 Die As Bus Plunges Into Indian Gully

 

A bus plunged into a gorge in a Himalayan state of northern India on Thursday, killing 14 people and injuring 17 others, a disaster official said.

The driver lost control of the vehicle as he tried to negotiate a narrow bend in the picturesque Tehri district.

“Thirty-one people had boarded the bus. Rescue workers have pulled out 14 bodies. Seventeen others are injured, nine of them have serious injuries,” disaster official Piyush Rautela said.

Those nine have been flown by helicopter to a hospital in the nearby city of Rishikesh, he told AFP.

India has some of the world’s deadliest roads, claiming the lives of more than 150,000 people each year.

Earlier this month, 44 people were killed in Uttarakhand when a bus crashed into a gorge.

AFP

44 Dead In Bus Crash In Northern India

This file photo: Mumbai. PUNIT PARANJPE / AFP

 

At least 44 people were killed in northern India Sunday when a passenger bus crashed into a gorge in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, police said.

“44 people have died in the accident. At least 3 others are injured. The rescue work is still ongoing,” Deepesh Chandra Kala, a disaster management officer from Pauri Garhwal district where the accident occurred, told AFP.

27 Children, Others Die In Bus Crash

FILE COPY   Photo Credit: Frank Rumpenhorst / dpa / AFP

 

At least 30 people, including 27 children, were killed Monday in northern India’s Himachal Pradesh state when a school bus plunged off a cliff, police said.

The bus carrying young students in Himachal Pradesh state flew off a cliff near Nurpur, about 325 kilometres (200 miles) from the state capital Shimla, and crashed into a valley.

“The bus rolled into a 200 feet deep (60 meters) gorge, killing 27 schoolchildren, two teachers and the driver,” a senior local police official, Santosh Patialma, told AFP from the scene around 325 kilometres from the state capital Shimla.

Most of the students aboard were aged between 10 and 12 years and hailed from a local school, he added. Twelve had been rushed to the hospital, most in a critical condition.

Onlookers rushed to search the mangled yellow bus upturned on the valley slope for survivors.

Images from the scene showed injured children being carried away bloodied and bruised, some on stretchers and others in the arms of bystanders.

The state government has announced 500,000 rupees ($7,700) in compensation for each victim’s family.

India has some of the world’s deadliest roads.

More than 150,000 people are killed each year with most accidents blamed on poor roads, badly maintained vehicles and reckless driving.

Last month, a truck carrying a wedding party drove off a bridge in western India killing 30 people, mostly women and children.

Nine children were killed in February when a vehicle crashed into them outside their school in an apparent hit-and-run.

And thirty-two people died in late December when their bus swerved off a bridge into a riverbed in Rajasthan state.

Lives are frequently lost in India’s remote, mountainous northern reaches, where narrow hairpin turns cut paths into the steep Himalayan foothills.

Last July, a bus rolled off a cliff around 100 kilometres from Shimla, a hill resort popular with tourists, claiming 28 lives.

Just a week earlier, 16 pilgrims died in a bus crash in neighbouring Jammu and Kashmir state.

In April last year, 44 people were killed in a similar accident in Himachal Pradesh.

 

AFP