- Algeria terms it one of country’s deadliest road crashes.
- Footage shows bus going up in a massive ball of flames.
- Provincial officials arrive at site to oversee rescue operations.
Officials in Algeria said Wednesday that as many as 34 people have been killed in an accident and 12 others have been injured in a head-on collision involving a bus and a commercial vehicle that occurred in the southern desert, leaving the passenger vehicle in flames.
The civil defence agency of Algeria said that it is one of the country’s deadliest road crashes in years.
Media images showed the mangled and charred hull of the bus after the 4:00 am (0300 GMT) accident near Tamanrasset, a city about a 2,000-kilometre (1,250 miles) drive south of the capital Algiers.
Local media reported that burnt bodies were recovered from the bus wreck, near the town of Outoul, 20 kilometres west of Tamanrasset, deep in the Sahara.
The civil defence agency also stated that the bus was “carrying passengers between Tamanrasset — a town of 150,000 people — and Adrar — with about 65,000 residents — to the northwest.
Footage broadcast by local media showed the bus going up in a massive ball of flames.
Other images shared by Algerian media show rescuers at the scene, near the two burnt vehicles that were involved in the accident.
Authorities did not reveal the cause of the crash, however, the government road safety agency remarked that speed is the main cause of road accidents in the country.
There was no official comment on the accident. Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune is currently in China for a state visit.
“Mohamed Boudraa, the governor — or wali — of Tamanrasset, visited the local hospital where the 12 injured were being treated,” the official APS news agency reported.
It said they suffered serious burns.
“Provincial officials also arrived at the site of the accident to oversee rescue operations,” APS said.
Algeria recorded nearly 23,000 road accidents in 2022, leaving 3,409 people dead and more than 30,000 injured, according to the country’s road safety chief Nacef Abdelhakim.
Tamanrasset is an important transport hub for the movement of people and goods from Algeria’s far south to the coastal north.
The region, near the borders of Mali and Niger, is also a key transit point for migrants from sub-Saharan Africa hoping to reach Europe via Algeria.
In December 2020, a car crash near Tamanrasset killed 20 people and injured 11 others, most of them African migrants