File picture: Independent Media

Bangui – The Central African Republic (CAR) is battling political turmoil, violence between armed groups and the regular massacre of unarmed civilians, so the latest death of 78 people killed, and dozens injured, in a truck accident was yet more bad news for the embattled country.

On Wednesday, a doctor reported that Tuesday’s accident took place when a truck heavily loaded with goods and passengers crashed approximately 10km outside of Bambari, around 300km north-east of the capital Bangui.

The truck, which was reported to be overloaded and speeding, was rushing to get to a weekly market day in the village of Maloum on time, Al Jazeera reported.

"At the moment, we have counted 78 dead and 72 wounded. Some wounded were taken directly to their homes from the accident scene and died there sometime after, but most died here," said Chamberlain Bama, chief doctor at the university hospital in Bambari.

Most of the people killed were travelling on the back of the truck.  

Exacerbating the civil and political chaos in the CAR, decades of neglect have left the landlocked country's road system in ruins and safety regulations are rarely enforced.

Furthermore, the country’s damaged infrastructure and a lack of other transportation have forced people to regularly travel in overloaded trucks in poor condition.

Local resident Hubert Tchenebou told AFP news agency it was not the first time an accident involving an overloaded truck had happened in the area.

"There are police and UN forces (in the area), but they let vehicles pass on which people are perched like birds," said Tchenebou.