Sixteen Palestinian pilgrims killed in bus crash overnight in southern Jordan

Published March 17th, 2016 - 08:00 GMT
A bus carrying pilgrims from the West Bank crashed late Wednesday night in Jordan after the driver apparently lost control of the vehicle. (Twitter/Petra News Agency)
A bus carrying pilgrims from the West Bank crashed late Wednesday night in Jordan after the driver apparently lost control of the vehicle. (Twitter/Petra News Agency)

Sixteen Palestinian pilgrims were killed when their bus overturned in southern Jordan overnight, officials told Associated Press.

The bus veered off the road in a remote area near the Saudi border, about 45 miles from the southern city of Maan, pinning nine people beneath the bus and killing others still inside the vehicle, said Farid Sharea, a spokesman for the Jordanian Civil Defense department.

The passengers, all from the West Bank, were en route to a pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Azzah Ibrahim, one of the passengers injured in the accident, told the AP he remembers the bus overturning. "Some of us were beneath the bus, and some of us were inside the bus, between the chairs," Ibrahim said from his hospital bed in Maan.

Heavy equipment was used to lift the vehicle and remove nine bodies from beneath the bus.

It was originally reported by Jordan's state-owned news agency Petra that 14 passengers were killed and 36 injured after the driver lost control of the bus. The death toll rose to 16 overnight, including two children, as two more succumbed to their injuries.

Bassem Hijawi, an official at the Palestinian embassy in Jordan, told the Voice of Palestine that five critically injured people were flown by helicopter to Amman, while three others were evacuated to the Red Sea port city of Aqaba for medical treatment.


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