LIMA – At least 33 people were killed and 10 others injured when a bus plunged into a 200-meter (655-foot) ravine at kilometer 70.5 of the highway that crosses the La Libertad mountain range in northern Peru’s Otuzco province, officials said.
The accident occurred around 4:10 a.m. Saturday in a remote area in La Libertad region, the official Andina news agency reported.
Officials fear that some victims may have been swept away by the waters of the Moche River.
The bus was carrying several doctors and nurses who worked at clinics and hospitals in the interior of La Libertad, Health Minister Midori De Habich said Sunday.
“I wish to express my condolences to the relatives of all the dead, as well as the families and co-workers of all the health personnel who lost their lives in this regrettable incident that has put the entire health sector in mourning,” De Habich said in a statement.
La Libertad health official Henry Rebaza said the bus was carrying 45 passengers, but some survivors said other people not included on the passenger list were aboard the vehicle.
The bus was heading from the Andean city of Huamachuco to Trujillo, the capital of La Libertad, when it went off the highway and plunged into a ravine alongside the Moche River.
A police officer was hit by a falling rock during the rescue operation and hospitalized.