RIO DE JANEIRO – At least 21 people died Thursday – many of them burned to death – in a traffic pile-up in the southeastern Brazilian state of Espirito Santo, authorities said.
The incident occurred on Highway BR-301 near Guarapari when a van transporting granite strayed for unknown reasons into the oncoming lane and crashed into a bus, Federal Highway Police said.
The bus was plying the route between Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, and Vitoria, the regional capital of Espirito Santo, and was carrying 32 people, of whom 19 died.
Also involved in the accident were two ambulances that were traveling behind the bus, the drivers of which had no time to avoid colliding with the larger vehicle.
The van driver also died in the crash along with a person in one of the ambulances.
Police said that a number of people were injured, although they did not provide a casualty count.
All of the victims were taken to nearby hospitals.