27 killed in Haiti road accident: Hospital

At least 27 people were killed in a major road accident in Haiti on Saturday when a truck carrying people overturned on a highway south of Haiti's capital, hospital officials said.

"By now, we have counted 27 dead," Joel Charles, hospital director in the town of Petit-Goave, told AFP by phone. "Seriously injured people have passed away, and we have other people in critical condition."

Earlier reports put the death toll at 20, while 40 others were reported injured.

The accident occurred late on Saturday afternoon when a truck carrying small retail traders, many of them women, tipped over and overturned on National Highway 2, near a community known as Morne Tapion.

Seventeen people were confirmed dead at the site of the accident, according to Charles. Ten more succumbed after ambulances of the Haitian Red Cross took them to the hospital.

Overall about 40 people have been hospitalised, many with serious injuries, in the wake of the accident, the doctor said.

"Some of the injuries are critical, a lot of head trauma and broken bones. We need surgeons, other medical specialists and ambulances," Charles said. "The victims need to be transported to hospitals in Port-au-Prince."

It was not immediately clear, however, if this recommendation was being implemented.

"The city's capacities are overwhelmed by this accident, and we need medical staff," a local radio reporter pleaded on air.

The impoverished Caribbean nation's infrastructure is in generally disastrous shape after the catastrophic 2010 earthquake, which killed some 250,000 people, and left roads and buildings in and around the capital in ruins.

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