At least six killed as bus carrying children plunges into river in north-western Syria

Civil defence group begins search of area

Displaced Syrians wait to cross the Orontes river into Turkey on February 5, 2014 at the Syrian-Turkish border in the Idlib province.  More than 130,000 people have been killed since the Syrian conflict began on March 2011, and more than 2.4 million Syrians have become refugees.  AFP PHOTO /SHAHBA PRESS/STR (Photo by STR / SHAHBA PRESS / AFP)
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At least six people died when a bus carrying children on a school trip left the road and plunged into the Orontes river in north-western Syria on Thursday, the rescue group White Helmets said.

A number of people were also injured in the accident that occurred in the Ayoun Ara area west of Idlib governorate, the group said on social media site X.

Search and rescue operations are continuing at the site, it said.

It was not immediately clear what caused the bus to go off the road. Images from the scene showed a steep crag overlooking the riverbed where searchers were scrambling over boulders.

It was the latest tragedy to affect an area that has already been hit hard by Syria’s continuing civil war and by a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Turkey and northern Syria last year.

Most of the 5.1 million people living in opposition-held north-west Syria have been internally displaced, sometimes more than once, in the country’s civil war, now in its 14th year, and rely on aid to survive.

Updated: June 06, 2024, 2:39 PM