LIMA – At least 24 people were killed and 29 others injured after a bus plunged off a cliff in the central Andes region of Peru, according to the Superintendent of Land Transport of Persons, Freight and Goods (SUTRAN).
The accident occurred at around 6 a.m. local time (11:00 GMT) at kilometer 132 of the Central Highway near the Pariamarca tunnel, just 10 kilometers from the Pasco region’s 4,330-meter high capital city of Cerro de Pasco on the top of the Andean mountains.
The bus was in transit between Lima and Huanuco when it fell into a 30-meter deep precipice.
Police are still investigating how the bus fell and an operation to rescue the injured and extract the bodies is still underway, police sources told EFE, adding that the rugged terrain and dense fog is slowing the work.
One of those injured is the driver, who had to be transported to a hospital in Lima over 270 kilometers away owing to the severity of his injuries, the same sources said.
The rest of the injured have been evacuated to the Social Health Insurance Hospital in Pasco region and Daniel Alcides Carrion Hospital in Cerro de Pasco.
The damaged bus had all paperwork in order including permits, insurance and applicable technical inspections.
Accidents of this magnitude are common on Peruvian roads caused mostly by reckless drivers, poor state of roads and vehicles, and the rugged terrain.