Bus, fuel tanker collide in Afghanistan; at least 54 reported dead
KABUL, Afghanistan -- In a country where many of life’s daily risks stem from warfare, a horrifying crash involving a passenger bus and a fuel tanker killed up to 54 people on an Afghanistan road on Friday, officials said. The dead included women and children.
Officials in Ghazni province, south of Kabul, said the bus slammed into the fuel tanker on the main highway between the capital city and the southern city of Kandahar. The deputy governor of Ghazni, Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, said the crash was initially blamed on both drivers traveling at high rates of speed.
In addition to the deaths, five people were injured, Ahmadi said.
In impoverished rural Afghanistan, people rely on packed and shoddy public transport, including minivans and buses. Extremely high casualty counts are common when one of these overcrowded vehicles hits an IED, or improvised explosive device. In Friday’s crash, however, there was no indication that a bomb was involved.
-- Laura King and Hashmat Baktash