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A MAN LOOKS AT A BUS WHICH DROVE INTO A PARADE OF PEDESTRIANS. (PHOTO: REUTERS/ANDRES MARTINEZ CASARES)
A manhunt is underway in Haiti for a bus driver accused of causing the death of 38 people and injuring 13 others in a hit-and-run tragedy yesterday.
The bus, owned by transportation company Blue Sky Logistics, was carrying people from the northern Haitian city of Cap Haitien to the capital, Port-au-Prince.
The carnage began on the outskirts of the city of Gonaives, where the driver struck two pedestrians, one of whom died on the spot. The driver continued on for several miles, before ploughing into a group of people taking part in an early morning street festival known as Rara, a street celebration which runs from Mardi Gras until Easter Sunday.
According to one eyewitness, people were still trapped under the bus when it finally stopped.
“You could see bodies missing arms, bodies with stomachs out, and a trail of blood on the ground,” a man who lives in the area told CNN. “You could hear people crying and calling for help.”
On the chaotic scene, angry survivors tried to set the bus on fire even as passengers were still inside, but quick intervention from police averted further tragedy.
President Jovenel Moise has ordered an immediate investigation into the incident as he expressed “dismay” at the accident and expressed condolences to the families of the victims.
“The head of state conveys, on behalf of the Government, his sincere condolences to the families and relatives of the victims,” a statement from his office said.
Moise urged police “to investigate as soon as possible [the accident] to shed light on the tragedy”, while calling on Haitians to be more vigilant on the road.
Police are continuing investigations.