Lima: A passenger bus plunged into a ravine
in the high Andes of southern Peru on Friday, killing at least 40
people and wounding some 10 others, police said.
Authorities said more than 50 people were aboard when the
bus travelling between Arequipa, Peru`s second largest city,
and the town of Santo Tomas, near Cusco, veered off the road
and tumbled 200 meters (yards) down a mountainside, police
captain Juan Suarez said.
"There are 40 dead at the moment and I don`t have the
exact number of wounded, there are about 10," Suarez told AFP,
adding that the crash occurred early today about 1,100
kilometres from the capital Lima.
Suarez said the bus left late yesterday and had been
travelling to Santo Tomas, a peasant village in Chumbivilca
province, when it crashed.
Highway police General Enrique Medrie told reporters that
"there were reports of overcrowding of passengers," with a
travel crush common on Christmas eve.
Edilberto Tenquipa of the Espinar fire company near the
crash site said police and fire brigades were at the scene
seeking to transfer the wounded to hospital, but that rescue
efforts were difficult.
"The rains that fell this morning and a possible
mechanical failure may have caused the crash," Tenquipa told