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Death toll of Morocco flood-hit bus rises to 17

By AFP - Sep 09,2019 - Last updated at Sep 09,2019

Members of the security forces search for bodies in the wreckage of bus at the banks of the Damchan River near the city of Errachidia, in El Khank region in southern Morocco, on Sunday (AFP photo)

RABAT — At least 17 people were killed in Morocco when flood waters overturned their bus in the kingdom’s southeast, authorities said on Monday.

Rescuers have been searching for bodies since the accident, when the bus flipped on a bridge in a valley near the city of Errachidia, authorities said.

They said a further 29 passengers, with various injuries but in “stable” condition, had been transferred to a hospital in Errachidia.

Rescue workers were continuing their search, after six dead passengers were initially found at the site and another 11 in the relief operation.

The bus driver, who had at first had been counted among the missing, turned up on Monday at the hospital and was being treated under police guard ahead of questioning, local officials said.

Wounded passengers, interviewed by Medi1TV from their hospital beds, told of their ordeal.

“We were on the road when, all of a sudden, we were surrounded by water,” a woman said, while another said: “The bus couldn’t go forwards or backwards anymore, it just toppled over.”

Morocco has been hit by violent storms this summer, sparking flash flooding in its mountainous interior.

At the end of August, a flood hit a football pitch killing eight people in the southern region of Taroudant.

And in July, 15 people were killed in a landslide caused by flash floods on a road south of Marrakesh.

Floods are common in the north African country. In 2014, they killed around 50 people and caused considerable damage.

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