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15.11.2008 Burkina Faso

Dozens die in Burkina Faso crash

Dozens die in Burkina Faso crash

At least 30 people have been killed in a collision between a passenger bus and a goods lorry in the west African country of Burkina Faso.

The two vehicles caught fire after the crash and many people were trapped inside the bus, a witness told Associated Press news agency.

The accident happened before dawn near the town of Boromo, 167km (105 miles) west of the capital, Ouagadougou.

The coach was reported to be heading for neighbouring Ivory Coast.

'Gruesome scene'

Burkina Faso radio reported that 34 people had been killed, but a court prosecutor in Boromo said 41 bodies had been brought out from the bus.

"A bus and a truck carrying sugar collided this morning around 0530 (0530 GMT), six kilometres from Boromo," the prosecutor, Maiza Compaore, told AFP news agency.

"The two vehicles caught fire in the collision," she added.

"The scene is gruesome. The bus is completely askew, there are bodies on the road, some are in the wreckage, there are charred bodies which we are still removing. It's really horrible."

She said 20 injured people had been taken from the bus, which had been carrying 75 people.

Road accidents are common in Burkina Faso, especially at the end of the rainy season when many roads - already in poor condition - have been washed out.

Burkina Faso is rated as the world's third-poorest country by the UN.

Many Burkinabes work in Ivory Coast, where Ms Compaore said the passenger bus was heading.