Sixteen royal guards have died in a bus crash after the vehicle went off a road and plummeted 650 feet, Morocco's official news agency says.
The MAP agency reported that the accident happened pre-dawn on Saturday on a road linking two cities on Morocco's northern coast.
The report said the driver lost control of the bus at a bend, and the bus overturned and fell off the road.
In addition to the deaths, 42 guards were injured, eight of them seriously, and were hospitalized in Al Hoceima, northeast of the capital, Rabat.
The king sent a messages of condolences to the families of the victims and decided to take on all the costs for the burials as well as the medical fees of those injured in the accident.
Morocco World News notes that the link between the coastal strip of Tetouan and Al Hoceima is risky because of the mountainous nature of the region. The road accidents caused by military and security forces are not very common in Morocco.
In parliamentary session last March, Morocco’s head of government, Abdelilah Benkirane, said that road accidents cost the state a heavy bill estimated at 14 billion dirhams ($ 1,7 Billion) per year, 2% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). He added that Morocco occupies the first rank in the Arab world, and 6th rank worldwide in road accidents.