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38 dead after bus plows into parade crowd in Haiti

Victims of a transit accident are accompanied by relatives at La Providence Hospital on March 12, 2017 in Gonaives, 150 km (90 miles) northwest of the capital Port-au-Prince. (Credit: RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti – At least 38 people were killed and 13 others injured in northern Haiti after a bus plowed into a festival crowd before dawn Sunday, in what local authorities said was a hit and run incident.

The bus, owned by the transportation company Blue Sky Logistics, was carrying people from the northern Haitian city of Cap Haitien to the nation’s capital, Port Au Prince. The bus encountered streets crowded with revelers celebrating Rara, a popular festive season in Haiti that stretches from Mardi Gras until Easter Sunday.

Just outside the city of Gonaives, the bus struck two pedestrians, one of whom died instantly. The bus driver continued on for several miles before encountering a Rara band playing music in the middle of the road. The bus plowed through the first group of musicians, then drove through a second and a third band.

The driver fled the scene on foot and is still at large, police said. Authorities are actively searching for him.

According to one eyewitness, people were still trapped under the bus when it finally stopped. “You could see bodies missing arms, bodies with stomachs out, and a trail of blood on the ground,” a man named Rigorov, who lives in the area, said. “You could hear people crying and calling for help, but I could not make a difference on who is alive and who is not.”