VERACRUZ, Mexico – Twenty-one people were killed on Wednesday as the result of a collision between a bus and a truck in the Mexican Gulf coast state of Veracruz, authorities said.
The state’s director of emergency services, Guadalupe Osorno Maldonado, said in a video that 17 bus passengers and two people traveling in the truck were pronounced dead at the scene.
Two other people died later at nearby hospitals, she said.
The bus flipped over and burst into flames after colliding with the truck on the Veracruz-Puebla highway in a mountainous region known as Cumbres de Maltrata.
The passengers aboard the bus were Catholic worshippers from the southern state of Chiapas making a pilgrimage to the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Tuxtla Gutierrez, Jose Erick Moguel, said the pilgrims were members of congregations in Tuxtla and in the Chiapas dioceses of Tapachula and San Cristobal de las Casas.
He was unable to provide an exact figure for how many passengers the bus was carrying.
Among the injured was the parish priest who organized the pilgrimage, the Rev. Margarito Hernandez, reported to be in serious condition at a hospital in the area.
Accidents are common in the Cumbres de Maltrata due to dangerous curves and the dense fog characteristic of the zone.