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53 passengers killed in Cameroon bus blaze

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At least 53 passengers lost their lives on Wednesday when a bus collided with a fuel-laden van in western Cameroon, causing an explosion that engulfed both vehicles, the local governor said.

“The dead have all been burned beyond identification,” said Awa Fonka Augustine, the governor of West Region.

Twenty-nine other people suffered severe burns.

The 70-seat bus collided head-on with the van at around 3.30am at a location called the Cliff of Dschang, in western Cameroon, he said.

The stretch of road is notorious for accidents, with hairpin bends and ravines.

The van driver escaped after the crash and Augustine has called for his arrest.

The governor said fog may have been a cause of the accident. An early investigation found that the van also had a “brake problem”.

Hundreds of people were rushing to the area to look for relatives.

“It is impossible to identify any of the corpses I have seen. They are burned beyond recognition,” said 54-year-old businessman Honore Nzali, who was searching for his brother.

Road accidents are common in Cameroon.

The government blames reckless drivers and the poor state of vehicles, while drivers blame the bad conditions of the roads.

At least 37 people, including 10 women and four children, were killed in central Cameroon on December 27 when their bus smashed into a truck and tumbled down a ravine.

France 24

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