Guatemala: Truck rams into crowd, kills 30

Guatemala: Truck rams into crowd, kills 30

Guatemala: Truck rams into crowd, kills 30

A large truck has slammed into a crowd gathered on a road in western Guatemala, killing 18 people and leaving bodies scattered on the roadway, firefighters said.

Images from the scene show emergency services lining up the victims' bodies on the road.

The driver fled the scene in his truck and his whereabouts are unknown.

The hit and run occurred at km 159.5 after a crowd of people gathered on the highway after an earlier hit-and-run accident killed a local resident.

Three of the dead were children, Chacaj said. According to local reports, the truck struck the group after they had gone onto the road to help another person injured in a separate auto crash.

It has been reported that an eight-year-old girl is among the deceased.

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Guatemala President Jimmy Morales said his government would coordinate aid to the families of the victims.

"At this time we are coordinating our response to bring full support to the relatives of the victims", Morales wrote on Twitter.

The crash was on the notoriously unsafe Interamerican highway, at kilometre 159, Guatemalan media said.

Authorities set up a morgue in the local community hall where family members arrived to pick up the bodies of loved ones and take them back to their homes before funerals later Thursday.

He added that investigators were initially prevented from getting to the scene by angry relatives but were given access after opening a dialogue with community leaders.

Local reports said the man killed in the first accident was a community leader and president of the state Council of Urban and Rural Development.

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