Death toll in Tunisia bus accident rises to 26

Tunisian security forces check the debris of a bus that plunged over a cliff into a ravine, in Ain Snoussi in northern Tunisia on December 1, 2019. - The bus, with 43 people on board had set off from the capital Tunis to the mountain town of Ain Draham, the tourism ministry said.

Officials say at least 26 people were killed when their bus plunged into a ravine in the northwest of Tunisia.

The health ministry said late Sunday that 17 people were also injured in the accident which occurred in a mountainous region popular with Tunisian tourists.

The ministry confirmed that all those aboard the bus were Tunisians. 

The bus had set off from Tunis towards the picturesque northern mountain town of Ain Draham, a popular autumn destination for domestic visitors.

Death toll in Tunisia bus accident rises to 26
Tunisian security forces check the debris of a bus that plunged over a cliff into a ravine, in Ain Snoussi in northern Tunisia on December 1, 2019. (Photo by Fethi Belaid / AFP)

The interior ministry had earlier reported the deaths of 22 out of the 43 people aboard, saying the bus had “fallen into a ravine after crashing through an iron barrier”.

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The health ministry in a new toll said four more passengers had died from injuries.

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At the scene of the fatal accident was the twisted remains of the bus in the ravine near a river bed, surrounded by scattered bodies.

The top of the bus appeared to have been torn off and seats were strewn across the site.

Death toll in Tunisia bus accident rises to 26
Tunisian President Kais Saied (C-L) speaks with officials at the scene of a road accident that saw a bus plunged over a cliff into a ravine in Ain Snoussi in northwestern Tunisia on December 1, 2019. (Photo by FETHI BELAID / AFP)

President Kais Saied and outgoing Prime Minister Youssef Chahed have visited the site.

It was not immediately clear what caused the accident but forensic experts are investigating.

The World Health Organization in 2015 reported that Tunisia had the second-worst traffic death rate per capita in North Africa, behind only Libya.

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Death toll in Tunisia bus accident rises to 26
A forensic expert checks the debris of a bus that plunged over a cliff into a ravine, in Ain Snoussi in northern Tunisia on December 1, 2019. (Photo by Fethi Belaid / AFP)

The accident triggered renewed public anger over what one social media user called the country’s “roads of death”.


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