LA PAZ – Five people, including a teenager, were killed and 12 others injured when a cargo truck that was also carrying passengers went off a highway in western Bolivia, media reports said Wednesday.
The accident happened Tuesday on the highway connecting the western province of Oruro and the central province of Cochabamba when the driver lost control of the truck, presumably because of hail, and the vehicle plunged into an eight-meter (26-foot) deep ditch, Radio Erbol said.
The truck, covering a route between the cities of Caihuasi, Oruro, and Vinto, Cochabamba, was carrying passengers, sheep and sacks of potatoes, Cochabamba police chief Luis Aguilar said.
Two women, two men and a 13-year-old boy died in the accident.
Four people injured in the accident are listed in serious condition at an Oruro hospital, and the others were treated at medical centers in Cochabamba.
The government has been trying for years to reduce the number of traffic accidents in Bolivia.
Accidents kill an average of 1,000 people and injure about 40,000 others annually in this Andean nation, government figures show.
The number of accidents rises during the rainy season between October and March as a result of the poor condition of roads in the Andean country.