PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP & WSVN) — A bus plowed into people taking part in an early morning street festival in Haiti on Sunday, killing at least 34 people and injuring 17, rescue officials said.
The accident occurred around 3 a.m. in the city of Gonaives when a passenger bus first hit two people at a bus stop and then continued into a crowd of people participating in a Rara festival, an Easter season Haitian musical celebration, said Josepth Faustin, civil defense coordinator for the Artibonito region.
Faustin said angry festival-goers then attacked the bus and tried to burn it before police rescued the passengers aboard. The bus driver fled and was being sought.
The injured were being treated at a hospital in Gonaives, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) northwest of the capital.
On Monday, the Haitian community was in mourning. “To be witnessing those kind of accidents, it’s really discouraging,” said Notre Dame D’Haiti Catholic Church Father Reginald Jean-Mary. “It’s really hard for so many families in the church.”
Many South Florida families prayed over the weekend, hoping to bring healing to those families in need. “I pray for these people,” said Eglise Baptiste Haitienne de la Grace pastor Luke Harrigan. “You know, Haitian people are good people. Not only did we lose lives, but the people are suffering. Haiti is a country that has already lost everything.”
Haitian community activist Tony Jean-Thenor said he hopes police will find the driver who fled the scene. “The police must be must more vigilante when it comes to this time of the year when people are celebrating,” said Jean-Thenor.
“The suffering of one Haitian is the suffering of all of us,” said Jean-Mary. “The suffering of the human being is the suffering of all of us.”
Police continue to investigate the cause of the crash.
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