Page last updated at 22:26 GMT, Saturday, 15 November 2008

Dozens die in Burkina Faso crash


At least 66 people have been killed in a collision between a passenger bus and a goods lorry in the west African country of Burkina Faso.

The two vehicles caught fire after the crash and many people were trapped inside the bus. Another 30 people have been taken to hospital.

The accident happened before dawn near the town of Boromo, 170km (105 miles) west of the capital, Ouagadougou.

The coach was reported to be heading for neighbouring Ivory Coast.

'Gruesome scene'

"We lament 96 victims, of whom 66 have died," said the country's Transport Minister Gilbert Noel Ouedraogo.

"Of the 66, 55 bodies were completely charred. There are 30 injured admitted in hospital."

He told the AFP news agency that it had only been possible to identify 10 bodies so far, but added that citizens of the Ivory Coast were among the victims.

"A bus and a truck carrying sugar collided this morning around 0530 (0530 GMT), six kilometres from Boromo," a court prosecutor, Maiza Compaore, told AFP.

"The two vehicles caught fire in the collision," she added.

"The scene is gruesome. The bus is completely askew, there are bodies on the road, some are in the wreckage, there are charred bodies which we are still removing. It's really horrible."

She said the driver of the bus had survived the collision, but was too shocked to be questioned in detail by police. He had reported there were more than 80 people on board his vehicle.

Lorries in Burkina Faso also frequently carry passengers.

Road accidents are common in Burkina Faso, especially at the end of the rainy season when many roads - already in poor condition - have been washed out.

Burkina Faso is rated as the world's third-poorest country by the UN.

Many Burkinabes work in Ivory Coast, where Ms Compaore said the passenger bus was heading.

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