A major road accident in Haiti has claimed the lives of at least 27 people, when the truck they were traveling overturned on a highway south of Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital. The accident occurred late Saturday afternoon with earlier reports indicating the death toll at 20, with 40 others injured.
The truck was carrying several small-time traders when the accident occurred climbing a steep incline on National Highway 2 near Morne Tapion. As it began climbing the steep grade, the truck seemed to lose power and waver. Thereupon, the truck overturned and tumbled down the incline killing at least 17 occupants on the spot. Many of those killed were women.
Such accidents are not uncommon in Haiti where traffic rules are often overlooked and vehicles carry more than its intended capacity. Earlier this year, at least 26 people were killed in a massive pile up near Port-au-Prince.
The truck involved in the accident was also loaded with goods along with the numerous passengers. Reports indicate the area as the bane of motorists with many accidents having occurred at the spot in recent times.
The injured were taken to the nearby hospital, many of them in serious condition, in Petit-Grove town for treatment. The local media say the hospital is ill-equipped to deal with such casualties and the injured may need to be shifted to the capital for treatment.
Haiti is an impoverished Caribbean country, still struggling to recover from the devastating January 2010 earthquake, with little or no infrastructure. The earthquake killed about 217,000 people and left over 1.5 million homeless. The country's woes continued and were hit by an extensive cholera outbreak shortly thereafter. The epidemic claimed more than 7,000 lives and made some 500,000 others grievously sick.
Almost half a million people in Haiti still live in makeshift camp settlements following the earthquake. The residents of such camps remain exposed to cholera and the risk of flooding, especially during the May-November hurricane season.
by RTT Staff Writer
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