Ten migrant workers and one truck driver were killed Monday in one of the most horrific crashes in recent Canadian history.
The accident occurred when a flatbed truck slammed into a passenger van on a rural road in southwestern Ontario just before 5 p.m., the Globe reports. The impact from the collision forced the van across a field and into a building. The truck was flipped over onto its roof.
Ten workers in the van, whose ages ranged from 19 to 55, were killed. Another three were critically injured. The driver of the truck died on the scene.
“I’ve been on the job for 28 years and I’ve never seen anything like it,” Inspector Steve Porter of the local OPP detachment told the daily.
The van passengers are known to have been migrant agricultural workers, likely en route from one the region’s poultry farms. At least some were wearing seat belts. No information has been released on where they were from or how long they have been in Canada.
Regardless, the crash is likely to reopen the debate over conditions for seasonal workers in Canada. Thousands are shipped in every year, mostly from Mexico and the Caribbean, to perform jobs Canadians won’t. Though official protections exist, past studies have shown that many workers are unaware of them, or too afraid of losing their jobs to risk going to the authorities.