Crash kills 11, mostly migrant farm workers

Tue Feb 7, 2012 9:16am EST
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TORONTO (Reuters) - A crash between a flatbed truck and a van carrying migrant farm workers on a rural crossroads in southwestern Ontario killed 11 people, media reported on Tuesday, in one of the most deadly vehicle accidents in Canadian history.

Both drivers and nine passengers in the van were killed instantly on Monday when it was broadsided by the truck, a spokeswoman for the county emergency medical service said. The accident occurred in the hamlet of Hampstead, Ontario, about 87 miles west of Toronto.

The crash occurred on Monday in the heart of southwestern Ontario's rolling farm country, which attracts thousands of migrant farm workers every year.

"The people in the van are migrant workers, to the best of our knowledge," Perth County, Ontario, Provincial Police Insp. Steve Porter told Postmedia News.

An emergency worker said the van may have been carrying workers employed by a local chicken hatchery or farm.

While police could not confirm the nationalities of the deceased, media reported they were Spanish speakers. One newspaper said the victims were Peruvian.

(Reporting By Pav Jordan)