18 dead in Sierra Leone crash
02 August 2013, 13:02
Freetown - Eighteen people on the back of a truck died on Thursday in northern Sierra Leone when it careered off a steep hill into a ravine, police and local media said.
Police said 16 women, a three month old baby and a 36-year-old man died in the crash, near the town of Makale, 180km north of the capital, Freetown, at 04:30 (04:30 GMT).
"The truck was carrying a total of 36 passengers in addition to a quantity of consumer goods... when the driver lost control at the top of a hill and careered backwards, resulting in all 18 killed on the spot," said NGO worker Charles Mambu, who was in the area in the aftermath.
The driver and a companion are said to have fled the scene, a police source told AFP. Road accidents are frequent in the countryside in Sierra Leone, due in large part to poor driving and overloaded vehicles.