At least 40 dead in Peru bus crash: Police
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Last Updated: Friday, December 25, 2009, 12:03
  
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 RPP radio.

PTI


First Published: Friday, December 25, 2009, 12:03


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