RABAT, Morocco – A bus crash east of Morocco’s economic capital Casablanca on Wednesday left 23 people dead, a health official said, marking one of the deadliest such accidents in recent years.

Rescuers and security forces gather at the scene of a bus crash on a motorway in Khouribga province, east of Morocco’s economic capital Casablanca, on August 17, 2022. The crash left 23 people dead, a health official said, marking one of the deadliest such accidents in recent years. AFP

The bus overturned on a bend of a motorway in Khouribga province in the morning, local authorities said, giving an initial toll of 15 dead.

Regional health director Rochdi Kaddar later revised the death toll up to 23, telling AFP that another 36 people were injured in the crash.

The bus was travelling between Casablanca and the rural region of Ait Attab, near the town of Beni Mellal at the foot of the High Atlas mountains.

The injured were taken to a hospital in Khouribga and an investigation has been opened into the accident.

Road accidents, often deadly, are relatively frequent in Morocco and other North African countries.

An average of 3,500 deaths and 12,000 injuries have been recorded annually in Morocco, according to the National Road Safety Agency, with an average of 10 deaths per day.