LIMA – At least eight people were killed and 31 others injured in traffic accidents in the Peruvian mountain regions of Apurimac and Pasco over the weekend, police said Monday.
A bus heading from Apurimac to Cuzco hit a wall on Sunday in the district of Mara, killing the driver and four passengers, the National Police told the official Andina news agency.
Twenty-one people injured in the crash were taken to four hospitals in Apurimac and the neighboring region of Cuzco, located in southeastern Peru.
An overloaded taxi, meanwhile, went off a highway in Pasco on Sunday, killing three people and injuring 10 others.
The accident occurred near Chango, a town in Pasco.
The taxi tried to avoid a pothole and went off the road, “plunging into a 150-meter (nearly 500-foot) ravine, killing three people, two at the scene and one on the way to Carrion Hospital in Pasco,” Samuel Verastegui, police chief in the city of Daniel Alcides Carrion, told the daily El Comercio.
“The poor condition of this road and overloading of passengers on this three-wheeler were the cause of the accident, which is in the process of being investigated,” Verastegui said.
Peru, which has many problems with its roads and a large number of old vehicles, has a high rate of fatal traffic accidents.
Experts contend the accident rate in Peru’s interior is extremely high due to the poor condition of roads, an obsolete bus fleet and drivers who obtain licenses on the black market by paying between $30 and $50.