Dozens of school children were injured by a vehicle in Kyrgyzstan on Thursday

A runaway ice cream truck rolled down a slope and crashed into a crowd of children during a cultural festival in a mountainous area in central Kyrgyzstan on Thursday.

There are conflicting reports about the number of victims, with some local media saying that 31 children and one adult were injured, including four who were hospitalized with bone fractures. Others say that 29 people were hurt. 

The tragedy occurred when thousands gathered near the village of Jerge-Tal for an event dedicated to The Epic of Manas, a 19th-century Kyrgyz poem. 

The attendees, including many students, were sitting on the grass on the side of the hill, with a group of participants holding up a large Kyrgyzstan flag.

Suddenly, one of the parked vehicles began rolling downhill, hitting multiple people. It appears many victims did not notice the incoming truck because they were facing the opposite direction.

The truck driver has been detained by police. According to local media, the man told investigators that he had left the vehicle and was speaking over the phone when he noticed that the truck was moving.

The authorities have opened a traffic safety violation case. News website 24.kg quoted police as saying that it is unclear why the vehicle had rolled downhill.

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