Thursday 19 October 2017

Guatemalan bus plunges off cliff, killing at least 35

AT least 35 people were killed and dozens injured on Monday when a bus went off a cliff in rural Guatemala, tumbling some 200 metres (660 feet) into a river at the bottom of a ravine, officials said.

Rescue workers said that the bus, which plunged off of a paved highway roughly 60 km (37 miles) northwest of Guatemala City, was completely destroyed and that 40 people had been taken to nearby hospitals to be treated for injuries.

Investigators do not yet know what caused the crash or what was the final destination of the bus, which was traveling south toward Guatemala City. Rescue workers said that conditions were dry and mostly sunny and that the bus was likely over capacity.

"So far we have 35 dead and 40 injured, but those numbers could climb," volunteer firefighter spokesman Williams de Leon said. "The bus was probably traveling with too many people."

The last major bus accident in Guatemala occurred in 2008 when an overcrowded bus slid off a highway and down a 15-metre (50-foot) slope some 65 km (40 miles) southeast of the capital, killing 53.

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