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Five dead as train slams into bus near Tunis

Security officers inspect the wreckage after a train smashed into a bus near Sidi Fathallah, Tunisia on December 28, 2016 © AFP / Fethi Belaid

TUNIS, Tunisia, Dec 28 – At least five people were killed and more than 30 injured on Wednesday when a train slammed into a public bus near Tunis, the Tunisian interior ministry said.

The bus was torn in two when it was struck on the tracks around 7:00 am local time (0600 GMT) near Sidi Fathallah, about 10 kilometres (six miles) south of the Tunisian capital.

The ministry said in a statement that five people were killed and another 34 taken to hospital, many with serious injuries.

Local radio station Mosaique FM reported at least 42 injured.

The bus belonged to the public transport service of the town of Nabeul, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) south of Tunis.

“An investigation has been opened to understand the circumstances… and to determine responsibility,” said Hassen Miaadi, the director of communications for the national railway company.

Authorities in Tunisia have called for greater caution on the roads following accidents including a collision between a bus and a lorry in August that killed 16 people and injured 85.

In a 2015 report from the World Health Organization, Tunisia had the second worst traffic death rate per capita in North Africa behind war-torn Libya.

Tunisia logged 24.4 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, according to data from previous years, less than Libya’s 73.4 but far more than 2.9 in the United Kingdom.

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