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Dump truck falls off mountain: 17 dead

2015-06-10 10:14

DANGERS OF AN OVERLOADED BAKKIE: 48 people were hurled off a truck in Pretoria when the driver of the truck crashed. This is a screengrab showing eight people on a bakkie travelling at 120km/h. Image: LES STEPHENSON

LIMA, Peru - A dump truck crammed with dozens of children dropped from a cliff in the Peruvian Andes as it returned from festivities in a highland province, killing 17 people - mostly children.

Another FIFTY-FOUR were injured.

Horror truck and bakkie crashes are common in South Africa and for years now Wheels24 has been reporting on dozens of deaths involving children. Yet the South African government has yet to enforce any ban on people being transported on bakkies or trucks.

DEATH-TOLL CLIMB

In October 2014 Cape Town Traffic Services conducted a school transport operation outside the Parow Valley Preparatory School. The blitz's findings were shocking.

The operation, part of the Western Cape's 'Safely Home' campaign, found that many drivers operated without permits and many vehicles were overloaded with children. Six vehicles were impounded and at three drivers were operating without a licence.
  
During the same period the Western Cape, through its 'Safely Home' campaign, revealed shocking footage of a bakkie crash. The video showed a vehicle smashing into the rear of a bakkie causing it to  hit the road barrier, destroying the loadbed carrying the children.

In December 2014, Wheels24 reported on 10 people died in a bakkie crash and ind in February 2015 eight more were killed in another crash.

TRAGIC ENDING

But back to Peru... Ruben Alva, governor of the mountainous region, said the truck belonged to the municipal government of Cahuac, 3370m up in the Andes and one of several small towns some 260km north-east of Lima, where children had been summoned to join a Sunday parade in the provincial capital.

Alva said the crash was being investigated and the driver, who survived, was arrested.

Deadly road crashes are common in Peru, where enforcement of passenger limits and driver competence is minimal and many rural routes are in poor condition.

Alva said the truck was going uphill around a curve on a dirt road when it rolled backwards and over a cliff: "It dropped into a ravine, falling for about 100m. They were close to home, maybe 15 minutes away."

Several children, some parents, and a teacher were among the dead.

Just as in South Africa, lack of public transport forces people to used farm and construction vehicles to get between towns or to work.

Alva did admit, however, that it was not normal for the municipality to use a dump truck to carry people.


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Read more on:    lima  |  peru  |  crash  |  truck  |  children  |  bakkie  |  deaths

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