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04:24 PM Beirut time
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Nine dead after bus overturns east of Beirut
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BEIRUT: Nine people were killed and 29 others wounded after a bus carrying Syrian workers and their families overturned Friday morning on the Kahaleh road east of Beirut, the Lebanese Red Cross said.

George Kettaneh, the general secretary of the Lebanese organization, told The Daily Star that women and children were among the casualties.

Security sources said the coach, which carried a Syrian license plate, tipped over at the steep slope at Kahaleh in the district of Aley, Mount Lebanon, about 13 kilometers from the capital.

The officer at Bashar al-Sukhni travel agency in Syria, Mohammad Hammoud, told The Daily Star by telephone that the passengers – all from Manbij in the Aleppo province – were Syrian workers and their families. He did not know their exact number.

Hammoud identified the bus driver by his first name – Jassem – but could not confirm whether he was among the dead.

Lebanese Red Cross teams rushed the injured to nearby hospitals.

A Lebanese Red Cross statement said that the rescue operation was called off three hours after the accident, which took place at 4:51 a.m.

The security sources said the bus, registered in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakeh, was headed to Beirut when the accident occurred.

Frequent road accidents take place at the same spot of the Kahaleh highway.

The highway was blocked in both directions soon after the fatal crash. At around 9:30 a.m., police reopened the section of the road leading down to Beirut.

Efforts are still under way to remove the bus and clear the other part of the road.

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