At least 78 people have been killed and dozens injured after a truck overloaded with goods and people crashed outside the town of Bambari. The truck was reportedly speeding as it tried to make it to a market on time.
Hospital officials in the Central African Republic confirmed that 78 people were killed and 72 wounded in a horrific traffic accident.
The accident occurred Tuesday after a truck carrying passengers and goods went off a road just outside the central town of Bambari, around 300 kilometers northeast of the capital, Bangui.
"At the moment, we have counted 78 dead and 72 wounded," said Chamberlain Bama, chief doctor at the university hospital in Bambari. "Some of the wounded were taken directly to their homes from the accident scene and died there some time after, but most died here."
Most of those killed in the crash were reportedly market traders traveling on the truck.
Amaseka Topi, a Bambari member of parliament, said the truck had been overloaded and speeding as it tried to arrive on time at a market in Maloum, located some 60 kilometers from the where the accident occurred.
"They were driving fast to make it to the market on time," Topi told the Reuters news agency. "That's what probably caused the accident."
Neglect has left the country's road systems in ruins.
The Central African Republic has been besieged by violence since 2013, after mainly Muslim rebels ousted President Francois Bozize, provoking a backlash from Christian militias.
Fighting in the country has left thousands dead and forced around a fifth of the population to flee their homes.
dm/bw (Reuters, dpa)