A crash on a major highway in Ghazni province has left scores dead and 73 wounded after two buses and a fuel tanker smashed into each other on Sunday, 8 May. Reports say that the two buses were crammed with around 125 passengers.
All three vehicles were on fire, said Jawed Salangi, spokesman for the governor of the eastern Ghazni province. "With 73 survivors out of the 125, 52 people are dead," he confirmed, stating that the wounded were being treated in nearby hospitals.
The accident occurred at 7am local time (2.30am GMT) on the 389km Kabul-Kandahar Highway – a major road that joins Kabul, the capital city, to the southern town of Kandahar. The road has already been cleared and re-opened, Salangi said.
"The buses caught fire after the crash and most of the injured people are in a critical condition," Salangi told Afghanistan's Tolo News.
The crash was blamed on reckless driving, according to Mohammadullah Ahmadi, director of the provincial traffic department. The buses were travelling one behind the other from Kabul to Kandahar when the accident happened.
Local residents came to the aid of survivors and pulled them from the wreckage, together with firefighters, according to an AP report.
Roads in Afghanistan are often in poor condition and traffic laws infrequently enforced, leading to many road accidents. Previous multiple pile-ups include an accident in which 24 people were killed when a bus plummeted down a ravine after a head-on collision with a truck in December 2015.
Afghanistan has some of the most dangerous roads in the world, especially in mountainous areas which are difficult to maintain. A similar accident in April 2013 left 45 people dead when a bus hit a wrecked fuel tanker in the southern province of Kandahar.
The World Bank agreed to a $250m (£173.25m) upgrade to roads crossing the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan, which are vital trade routes that are often shut off in winter months due to heavy snowfall.