Death toll in bus accident in Tunisia increases to 26 | News


At least 26 people died when their bus reached a ravine in northwestern Tunisia, officials said Monday in a new death toll.

The Ministry of Public Health said Sunday night that 17 people were also injured in the accident in a mountainous region popular with Tunisian tourists.

The disaster was one of the deadliest accidents in a country whose poor road safety record has caused criticism of officials.

Everyone on board the bus was Tunisian, the ministry said.

The bus departed from Tunisia to the picturesque mountain village of northern Ain Draham, a popular autumn destination for national visitors.

The Interior Ministry previously reported the death of 22 of the 43 people on board, saying the bus had "fallen into a ravine after crashing into an iron barrier."

The health ministry said later that four more passengers had died due to their injuries.

A team from the AFP news agency that visited the site saw the twisted remains of the bus in the ravine near the bed of a river, surrounded by scattered bodies.

The top of the bus was ripped off and the seats scattered around the site.

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

It was not immediately clear what caused the accident and forensic experts are investigating, but the poorly maintained roads of Tunisia are reputed to be dangerous.

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

The accident caused a renewed public anger over what a social media user called the "roads of death,quot; in the country.

The bus with 43 people on board departed from the capital Tunisia (Fethi Belaid / AFP)