At least 38 young women and girls were killed in a road crash in Swaziland while travelling to the traditional festival where the King of Swaziland was set to pick a new bride from thousands of girls.
About 40,000 girls and young women participate in the ceremony every year for King Mswati. The Sherborne-educated king chooses his wives from the girls who perform for him at the traditional dance.
On Friday afternoon, a truck carrying dozens of women who had come from across the country to take part crashed into another vehicle.
Witnesses said many of the women were flung out of the truck, leaving at least 38 dead and 20 injured.
“We were about 50 on board the first truck that smashed into the Toyota van,” said Siphelele Sigudla, 18, a survivor quoted by the Times of Swaziland.
Swaziland is one of the world's last remaining absolute monarchies and has been ruled by King Mswati since 1986. An investigation into the accident is underway, according to the government's official website.