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34 killed in a horrific bus crash on their way to a church service

34 people killed when a bus carrying young Christian worshippers plunged down a steep ravine in Madagascar. | Dibie Ike Michael with AFP

Thirty-four adults and children were killed in a horrific bus crash on their way to a church service in Madagascar, American Christian evangelist and missionary, Franklin Graham confirmed Thursday.

Police officials in this country say this 1st August tragedy left 12 badly-burned bodies at the site after the late-night crash. The central hospital in the capital Antananarivo later in a news release announced the death of 18 other persons.

“The bus struggled to climb a road on a hill and fell down a ravine about 20 metres deep,” police spokesman Herilalatiana Andrianarisaona told AFP.

Passengers on the packed bus were travelling from the central town of Soavinandriana to a church meeting in the north-western coastal port city of Mahajanga when the accident happened.

“It is unimaginable what happened because the car was in good condition, the papers of the vehicle were in order. My wife and my children were among the passengers. The whole family is dead,” Elias Ralaiarimanana, a bus driver told Africa News.

Franklin Graham while calling upon the body of believers to pray for the families of the victims, said that Samaritan’s Purse has worked in this country for many years.

“We just heard yesterday that 8 of those killed were local volunteer teachers in our Operation Christmas Child The Greatest Journey discipleship program and 12 were children who had just recently graduated from the program.” He stated.

He preacher was however thankful the victims knew “the Savior and are now in His presence.”

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