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Indonesia truck careens into cliff, killing 16

JAKARTA (AFP) – At least 16 people were killed and more than a dozen others injured when a truck descending a remote mountain in Indonesia’s West Papua province crashed into a cliff yesterday, police said.

The truck, carrying 28 passengers and the driver, was heading down a road in the Arfak mountains to the provincial capital Manokwari at roughly 2am local time when the driver lost control and crashed, police said.

“We suspect the brakes failed, the truck lost its grip and the driver lost control,” Andre Manuputty, the deputy head of West Papua’s traffic unit, told local television station Metro TV.

When search and rescue teams arrived at the scene two hours after they first received reports of the crash, they saw some bodies strewn across the road, thrown out of the truck by the force of the impact, said local rescue official Monce Bruriy to Metro TV.

A child was among those killed, and 13 others were injured and receiving treatment at a local hospital, said Manuputty.

Some of the injured were in a critical condition, he said, adding that the road was particularly dangerous due to its steepness and the absence of proper lighting.

Deadly traffic accidents are common in the archipelago nation of 270 million people, where vehicles are often old or poorly maintained, and road rules are routinely ignored.

In February, 13 people were killed and dozens injured after a tour bus carrying factory workers to a beach holiday crashed on Indonesia’s Java island.

Rescuers put the body of a victim into a body bag after a truck accident in Manokwari, West Papua, Indonesia. PHOTO: AP