Sept 29, 2014(Juba) — At least 56 people have been killed after a bus travelling from South Sudan to Uganda crashed into a truck, doctors say.
“The police first brought something like 20 bodies … all in all they brought 56,” said Xaviour Okadi, a doctor at the main hospital in South Sudan’s capital Juba.
The crash is one of the worst recent accidents in South Sudan.
The bus crashed shortly after dawn on Monday, on the main highway south to Uganda, some 25 kilometres from Juba.
Police said the bus and truck collided head-on while crossing a bridge.
The accident happened Monday at Nisitu, some 10 kilometres south of Juba, South Sudan’s capital, as the bus sped to cross a bridge before a truck arrived from the opposite direction, said John Nsubuga, who heads an association of Ugandans working in South Sudan.
The bus crashed into the truck, killing or wounding most of the passengers, he said by phone from the Juba Teaching Hospital mortuary, where bodies were being identified.
“The trailer ripped the bus into pieces,” he said, adding that first responders, a group of Ugandan soldiers at a nearby camp, struggled to attend to all victims. Many bled to death before they could be helped, Nsubuga said.
Many of those killed were Ugandans, Okadi said, adding that around 15 were South Sudanese.
An AFP reporter witnessed dozens of dead bodies in the hospital’s mortuary, many with wounds to the head, or with broken limbs.
Ugandan traders play a key role in the South Sudan capital, many running small businesses or trading stores.
The Ugandan army is also supporting government troops in South Sudan, battling rebel forces in a more than nine-month long civil war.
The highway to Uganda is one of the few tarred roads in South Sudan, which is grossly underdeveloped after decades of war.