Three Dead and Eight Injured in Another Accident in Santiago de Cuba

The vehicle overturned in Fray Juan, Altos de Titi. (Sierra Maestra)

14ymedio biggerEFE / 14ymedio, Havana, February 3rd, 2020 — Three people were killed and another eight injured after a truck that was in use as a makeshift bus crashed on a highway in Santiago de Cuba.

The accident happened last Saturday on a stretch of road near Alto de El Titi, on the Laguna Blanca highway, in the Contramaestre area, according to information published in the official Sierra Maestra newspaper.

The fatalities were two men and a woman of 19, 40, and 44 years of age, and three of the injured were taken to Orlando Panoja de Contramaestre hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The photos published show that the vehicle left the highway, but, up to now, there are no further details.

It’s only two weeks since the last fatal traffic accident in the same province. On the 20th, two people were killed and another 22 injured when a Kamaz truck turned over, after hitting a Maz-500 truck (both are Russian-made vehicles) travelling in the opposite direction on the Central Highway, between Dos Palmas and Yarayabo.

For the last several years, traffic accidents have been the fifth cause of death in Cuba, where one is reported every 55 minutes, there is a fatality every 15 hours, and an injury every one hour and fifteen minutes, according to a recent report by the Department of Transport.

Major accidents occur with particular frequency in the eastern part of Cuba, where it is normal for trucks to be adapted to carry passengers, owing to the scarcity of public transport.

From January up until the end of October 2019, 7,800 traffic accidents were reported in Cuba, leaving 5,735 injured and 490 dead, according to official data.

Inadequate vehicle maintenance, ignoring rights of way on the road, speeding, and driving under the influence are among the most frequent causes of accidents.

But the high rate of accidents on the highways and on urban streets is also due to the advanced age of the vehicles (most of them are over 20 years old and many of them over 60), and their poor maintenance, often carried out on a DIY basis.

Translated by GH


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