MORELIA, Mexico – The death toll from the head-on collision Thursday involving a bus and a fuel tanker on a highway near the border between the Mexican states of Michoacan and Guerrero has risen to at least 24, officials said.
Nine people were also injured in the accident, Guerrero Attorney General’s Office spokesman Roberto Alvarez said in a statement.
The Michoacan State Firefighters Association (ABEM), whose members are working at the accident scene, told EFE the death toll could climb because the burned remains in the wreckage could be those of up to 29 people.
The accident occurred around 6:30 am on the Siglo XXI highway near the toll plaza in Feliciano, a town in the southern state of Guerrero, ABEM spokesmen said.
The vehicles crashed head-on and burst into flames, killing both drivers, investigators said.
State AG’s office accident scene investigators are on the scene, the ABEM said.
Paramedics, firefighters and other first responders transported the injured to hospitals in Michoacan’s coastal region.
The tour bus had departed from Morelia, the capital of Michoacan, while the tanker truck was hauling 40,000 liters (more than 10,500 gallons) of gasoline, officials said.
The highway was closed down just five kilometers (3.1 miles) from Lazaro Cardenas, a port city in the western state of Michoacan.
Red Cross, army and ABEM personnel, along with firefighers from steel company Arcelor Mittal responded to the crash.