LA PAZ – At least 14 people were killed and 20 others injured in an accident involving a bus about 50 kilometers (31 miles) from La Paz on the highway to the Yungas region, Bolivian media reported, citing police.
The accident occurred around 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, when a Yungueña company bus flipped over in the La Cumbre area, near a police checkpoint, ATB television reported.
The accident was apparently caused by mechanical problems, ATB said.
“We have approximately 14 adults here who died,” a police spokesman told ATB.
The injured bus passengers were taken to a hospital in La Paz, Bolivia’s capital.
The bus was heading from La Paz to Guayaramerin, a town in the border province of Beni.
This is the second high-fatality bus accident in the past week in the Andean country.
Five people were killed and more than 30 others injured when a bus collided with a cargo truck last Wednesday in the eastern province of Santa Cruz.
The accident occurred on the highway that links the city of Santa Cruz, the provincial capital, to the town of Camiri, prosecutor Olga Chavez said.
The vehicles collided near the town of Tararenda, located some 150 kilometers (93 miles) from Santa Cruz, the prosecutor said.
The preliminary investigation concluded that the truck driver swerved into oncoming traffic, hitting the bus, which was carrying 40 passengers, Chavez said.
The bus driver was detained so he could give prosecutors a statement.
Some of the injured were taken to a private clinic in Santa Cruz, while the bodies of the dead were sent to the morgue at Santa Cruz’s San Juan de Dios Hospital, the El Deber newspaper reported on its Web site.
President Evo Morales’s administration enacted a law in January that cracked down on bus drivers caught working drunk, inexperienced drivers and drivers who work excessive hours.
The measure’s goal is to reduce accidents, which kill an average of 1,000 people annually in this Andean nation. EFE