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24 hitchhikers killed in truck crash

  • Story Highlights
  • 24 day hitchhikers killed in Bangladesh when truck they riding on flipped over
  • Truck lost control in dense fog and veered off road in Tangail district
  • In recent months, dozens of people have died in similar crashes
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By CNN's Saeed Ahmed
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DHAKA, Bangladesh (CNN) -- At least 24 day laborers who had hitched a ride on a truck loaded with iron rods were killed Sunday when the vehicle flipped over into a ditch, impaling some and crushing others under the weight of its load, police in northern Bangladesh said.

A dozen others were wounded, some critically, when the truck lost control in dense fog Sunday morning and veered off a road in the Tangail district, located about 40 miles (64 km) from the capital city, Dhaka, said the district's police Officer-in-Charge Ashraf Hossain.

The truck was carrying several tons of iron rods and was on its way from Dhaka to another district, when the driver picked up at least 45 day laborers along the way, authorities said. The men were headed home to cast ballots in Monday's national elections.

In recent months, dozens of people have died in similar crashes, Hossain said. Truck drivers carrying supplies, such as rice, cement and iron rods, are not permitted to pick up passengers.

But the drivers often flout regulations. The passengers, in turn, pay less to travel on loaded truck beds than they would riding on buses, authorities said.

Most of the crashes result from erratic driving and little regard for traffic laws, Hossain said.

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