Outoul, 19 July, 2023 (GNP ): A devastating road accident in southern Algeria’s Tamanrasset province has resulted in the loss of at least 34 lives and left 12 others injured. The incident occurred when a utility vehicle and a passenger bus collided on National Road 01 in the village of Outoul, situated approximately 1,900 kilometers (1,180 miles) south of the capital city, Algiers.
Upon receiving the distress call at approximately 4:15 am (03:15 GMT) on Wednesday, local authorities and civil defense teams swiftly responded to the scene. Tragically, the civil defense team confirmed the unfortunate deaths and stated that the injured individuals were immediately taken to nearby hospitals for medical treatment.
Disturbing videos shared by local news outlets, captured the aftermath of the accident, revealing the vehicles engulfed in flames. Additionally, the civil defense agency released several images depicting the burnt-out and destroyed vehicles involved in the collision.
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This horrific incident, which has been described as one of the deadliest road crashes in Algeria in recent years, resulted in 12 individuals sustaining injuries, many of whom suffered severe burn wounds, as reported by Algeria’s civil defense agency. Unverified media images showed the bus’s charred and mangled hull following the accident.
According to local media reports, the bus was carrying passengers traveling between Tamanrasset and Adrar, a town located northwest of the crash site. Burnt bodies were reportedly discovered amidst the wreckage near the town of Outoul, approximately 20 kilometers west of Tamanrasset, deep in the southern Sahara region.
At present, authorities have not provided further details regarding the circumstances leading to this tragic crash or the cause behind it. The Algerian President, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, is currently on a state visit to China and has not issued an official statement on the incident.
Mohamed Boudraa, the governor of Tamanrasset, visited the local hospital where the 12 injured individuals are receiving treatment. According to the official APS news agency, these individuals have suffered severe burns. Provincial officials have also arrived at the accident site to oversee rescue operations.
Algeria has faced significant challenges with road safety, with speed being identified as the primary cause of accidents, according to a government road safety agency. In 2022 alone, the country recorded nearly 23,000 road accidents, resulting in 3,409 fatalities and over 30,000 injuries, according to Nacef Abdelhakim, the country’s road safety chief.
Tamanrasset serves as a crucial transportation hub for the movement of people and goods from the far south to the coastal north of Algeria. Additionally, the region, situated near the borders of Mali and Niger, represents a significant transit point for migrants from sub-Saharan Africa seeking passage to Europe through Algeria.