Swaziland Truck Crash

Published: August 29, 2015

Swaziland Truck Crash, At least 38 girls and young women have been killed in a crash while travelling to a traditional festival in Swaziland, a rights group said on Saturday.

About 20 others were injured when the truck they were in collided with another vehicle on Friday, the Swaziland Solidarity Network said.

The young women and girls were travelling on the back of an open truck, the rights group said.

Police in Swaziland, a small mountainous country of 1.4 million people bordering South Africa and Mozambique, discouraged reporting on the accident, the group said.

Photographers were prevented from taking pictures at the scene, said a Swazi journalist, who requested anonymity.

The women were travelling on a road between the cities of Mbabane and Manzini, when the vehicle they were in crashed into another and was then hit in the rear by a second truck, the Times of Swaziland reported.

“We were about 50 on board the first truck that smashed into the Toyota van,” said Siphelele Sigudla, 18, a survivor quoted by the newspaper.

The girls and young women were on their way to the Swazi king’s royal residence for the annual reed dance.

About 40,000 participate in the eight-day ceremony in which they sing and dance as they bring reeds to reinforce the windbreak around the royal residence, a government website said.

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