Port-au-Prince (AFP) – A bus speeding away from the scene of a hit-and-run accident plowed into dozens of street musicians in the Haitian city of Gonaives on Sunday, killing a total of 34 people, officials said.
Seventeen people also were injured in the incident which took place in the city of some 300,000 people located about 150 kilometers (90 miles) northwest of the capital Port-au-Prince.
“First, the bus plowed into two pedestrians, killing one of them, and injuring the other,” Marie-Alta Jean Baptiste, head of Haiti’s civil protection office, told AFP.
The driver then rammed into three groups of street musicians as he tried to speed away, leaving 33 of them dead in a scene of ghastly carnage.
Emergency workers transported the injured to the hospital, while police tried to control an angry crowd.
“The people who were not victims of the accident tried to burn the bus with the passengers inside,” said Faustin Joseph, civic protection coordinator for the department of Artibonite, where Gonaives, the regional capital, is located.
“The bus, the passengers and the driver were all placed into the care” of the local authorities, Joseph said.
In a statement Haitian President Jovenel Moise “expressed his deep sadness following the terrible accident.”
“The head of state conveys, on behalf of the whole government, his sincere condolences to the families and those close to the victims,” the statement read.
Moise called for “an investigation as soon as possible to shine light on this tragedy.”