A minibus carrying 24 people plunged into a ravine on Sunday, resulting in the loss of all lives onboard. The incident occurred while the passengers were en route to a weekly market in the town of Demnate, situated in the central province of Azilal.
Local authorities reported that the minibus overturned on a bend along the mountainous route, leaving the vehicle crushed at the bottom of the ravine.
Heartbreaking images captured by public broadcaster 2M depicted the devastating aftermath of the crash. Among the victims were at least two women and a child, as confirmed by Youssef Makhloufi, the director of Demnate hospital. An investigation into the cause of the accident has been initiated by local authorities.
Omar Majjane, associated with a local NGO, shed light on the issue of unlicensed vehicles operating in mountain regions, particularly in Azilal province. He revealed that the fatalities were all residents of the town of Ait Tamlil in the High Atlas Mountains, south of Demnate.
This unfortunate incident adds to the alarming frequency of road accidents in Morocco and other North African countries, where thousands of road deaths are reported annually. In March of the previous year, a minibus collision claimed the lives of eleven individuals, mostly agricultural workers, in the rural town of Brachoua.
A significant number of citizens, especially those from impoverished backgrounds, rely on coaches and minibuses for transportation in rural areas, contributing to the severity of such incidents.
Authorities are striving to reduce the mortality rate and have set a target to halve it by 2026. The effort comes in the wake of the country’s worst bus accident in 2012, which resulted in 42 fatalities.
Similar accidents have also been reported in neighboring Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt, raising concerns about road safety across the region. Efforts to address this issue remain ongoing as communities mourn the loss of loved ones and advocate for safer transportation measures.