Five refugees killed as van rolls in US

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The Independent US

Five people were killed and 12 others injured when a van loaded with Burundian refugees seeking work crashed on an Arizona highway.

The driver of the large van lost control about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Tucson, according to Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Officer Robert Bailey.

The director of a relief agency in Tucson said the passengers were Burundians who had fled to a Tanzanian refugee camp before having relocated to Tucson.

Jean Spinelli, a spokeswoman at University Medical Center, said six of the 11 people brought in from the crash were listed in critical condition and the other five in serious condition.

The group was seeking work at Eurofresh Inc., a hydroponics vegetable grower in Willcox, Arizona, said Ken Briggs, executive director of the International Rescue Committee's Tucson office.

Eurofresh has become a major southern Arizona employer of refugees seeking to become self-sufficient.

Briggs said his staff was working to try to assist the hospitals and the families involved.

He said the Burundians had been living in Tucson for a few years.

The IRC, which has 24 regional offices in the United States, helps refugees resettle and become self-sufficient. It also helps with emergency relief, human rights protection and rehabilitation.

The cause of the crash was under investigation, Bailey said.