LA PAZ – At least 31 people died and 13 were injured in a flood in the southeastern Bolivian province of Chuquisaca, regional police commander Col. Iver Marquez said.
The current of the Molle Punku River swept away a truck and a bus Friday night near the municipality of Tarvita as they were on their way from the city of Sucre to the town of Pampa Huasi, where an agricultural fair was to be held on Saturday.
Marquez told the state news agency ABI that the scene of the accident is some 200 kilometers (125 miles) from Sucre and that there is no direct communication with the area, but that reports received indicate that another 25 bodies have been recovered in addition to the six found the day before.
Media sources in Sucre told Efe that a doctor at the hospital in Tarvita, Maria Elena Ponce, said that the medical center had received 20 bodies on Sunday.
Hours before, Chuquisaca Gov. Esteban Urquizo said that the two vehicles were found very near each other in mid-river where they had been carried by the swollen waters, caused by the rain and hailstorm earlier in the day.
Preliminary reports received by the governor said that bodies were found “without heads, without legs” in the river, where about 100 peasants and police have been searching for victims and survivors since Saturday.
According to statements by survivors cited in the Sucre press, a group of people left the bus in hopes of reaching the riverbank but were the first to die, while others managed to swim to safety. EFE