Lorry crash kills at least six children in southern Iraq

Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al Sudani orders immediate investigation into incident outside school

At least 14 children have been injured in the incident in Hartha, northern Basra. Reuters
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At least six children were killed when a refrigerator lorry hit a group of school pupils in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, the Interior Minister said in a statement.

The driver was arrested after Tuesday's crash, which also injured 14 children. The lorry’s brakes failed and it ploughed into a group of pupils at a primary school in the town of Hartha, northern Basra, the statement added.

Hospital officials said some of the injured children are in critical condition after suffering severe head injuries.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al Sudani ordered an immediate investigation into the incident, his office said.

Iraq's infrastructure, including roads and bridges, is in disrepair, despite the country earning billions of dollars in oil revenue each month. Many roads are marked with potholes and lack lighting due to decades of war, neglect and endemic corruption.

Officials often blame crashes on drivers ignoring the speed limit, using their phones behind the wheel, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

More than 4,900 people were killed in road accidents in 2022, according to Iraqi Health Ministry figures.

Updated: April 02, 2024, 10:01 PM