30 dead in Afghan bus, tanker crash: Officials
AFP, Friday 26 Apr 2013
Officials say at least 30 people were killed after a bus collided with a fuel tanker in Afghanistan

A passenger bus collided with a fuel tanker in Afghanistan before dawn Friday, killing at least 30 people, many of them heading for the poppy harvest, officials said.

The accident happened in the Maiwand district of Kandahar province as passengers on the packed bus were travelling to join "neishtar".

The Neishtar season lasts just 15 to 20 days each April, when villagers from across southern Afghanistan work in vast poppy fields during one of the most lucrative times of the year for casual labourers.

Neishtar is the small lance used to make incisions on poppy plants to let out the resin, which dries into solid opium residue.

"Tragically, around 4:00 am, a passenger bus collided with a fuel tanker," Javid Faisal, the Kandahar governor's spokesman, told AFP. "As a result, we have 30 dead, mostly men, and ten injured."

He denied reports that the tanker was set on fire by Taliban insurgents and then left burning in the middle of a road.

Afghanistan has some of the most dangerous roads in the world and accidents are common.