LIMA – At least 52 people died when a bus full of passengers plunged into a ravine in the southern Peruvian region of Cuzco, local authorities said Saturday.
A local prosecutor, Juan Carlos Valverde, told RPP Noticias that up to now 52 deaths have been reported and that the bus crashed Friday night as it was transporting passengers home from a religious celebration.
Though at first it was reported that 30 people had died, the mayor of the Santa Teresa district, Ruben Pinto, later contacted RPP Noticias to say that authorities were working to identify 52 victims that had been found up to the moment.
“Unfortunately they are brother peasants who have lost their lives. The city of Santa Teresa was not prepared for an accident of such magnitude,” Pinto said.
The truck plunged into a 200-meter (650-foot) ravine in a very rugged part of the Cuzco region, where relatives of the victims went on Saturday.
“The vehicle was left trapped in a stream of the Yanatile River; there are no survivors,” Valverde said.
He added that among the fatalities were several minors.
Transport accidents occur frequently in the Peruvian mountains leaving scores of dead and injured, above all from drivers’ carelessness, the use of trucks and buses in a poor state of repair, and the need to travel rural highways constructed over the precipitous Andean terrain.