6 confirmed dead after school bus plunges into river in northwest Syria

At least six people, most of them children, drowned when a school bus went off the road into a river in northwest Syria on Thursday, emergency responders said.

The bus carrying dozens of children left the road near the city of Darkush, west of Idlib, and plunged into the Orontes River, a local civil defense organization also known as the White Helmets said in a statement.

Rescue teams were searching for survivors in the cliffside and in the river, it said.

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It was not immediately clear what caused the bus to go off the road. Images from the scene showed a steep crag overlooking the riverbed where searchers were scrambling over boulders.

It was the latest tragedy to affect an area that has already been hit hard by Syria’s ongoing civil war and by a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Turkey and northern Syria last year.

Most of the 5.1 million people living in opposition-held northwest Syria have been internally displaced, sometimes more than once, in the country’s civil war, now in its 14th year, and rely on aid to survive.

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