RABAT: A head-on collision in Morocco between a truck and bus carrying athletes killed at least 31 people and left nine injured on Friday, officials and media reports said.
MAP news agency, quoting local officials, said two of the wounded were in serious condition in the accident that occurred near the southern city of Tan-Tan.
Several private media said the bus was transporting young athletes and their coaches from a competition in Bouznika, a beach resort in the north between the capital Rabat and Casablanca.
Pictures posted on YouTube and on several news websites showed a bus on fire.
Medias 24 news website said 14 adolescents who had participated in a national sports competition involving Moroccan schools were on the bus, accompanied by three adults.
Mohamed Azzaz, a local health official in the Guelmim-Smara region where Tan-Tan is located said that at least eight people out of the 50 passengers on the bus were hospitalised.
MAP said the accident occurred near the district of Chbika, 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) southwest of Rabat.
Road accidents are frequent in Morocco, where officials say about 4,000 people are killed each year — equivalent to about 11 each day in a country of 34 million inhabitants.
The worst road accident claimed the lives of 42 people in September 2012, and also occurred in southern Morocco when a bus plunged into a ravine.
In 2010, Morocco imposed tougher driving laws.
Authorities have blamed a majority of road accidents on human error, including speeding.
The World Health Organisation says that road accidents cost Morocco one billion euros ($1.05 billion) each year, or about 2 percent of the North African kingdom’s gross domestic product.