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Truck Crash Kills Seven Tajik Family Members, Aged 4 To 45

VAHDAT, Tajikistan -- Seven members of a single Tajik family were wiped out when their truck plunged off a high cliff in the northern district of Lakhsh, police say.

Five other people survived when the truck veered off the road and fell into a river while carrying 11 passengers and a driver back to a village after a potato-harvesting excursion on September 30, district police officials told RFE/RL.

The dead were all members of the Sharapov family, their ages ranging from four to 45.

The survivors remained in intensive care with serious injuries on October 1, Ismatullo Ghafurov, chief physician of the district's main hospital, told RFE/RL.

Many families in Tajikistan, the poorest of the 15 former Soviet republics, rely heavily on stores of potatoes picked in autumn for nutrition over the winter.

In July, President Emomali Rahmon expressed concern over traffic accidents that he said had killed some 3,300 people in the Central Asian country since 2011.