LIMA – At least 48 people were killed and six wounded on Tuesday when a bus went off a highway near the Pacific Ocean in Pasamayo, an area north of Lima, and plunged off a cliff, according to the latest report from the National Police of Peru.
The head of the Police in the city of Huaral, Hernan Valdivieso, said that so far 48 people have been found dead, and 14 of them have been sent to the morgue of that town.
“We are going up to another 10 over a 200-meter slope, 12 bodies are located safely and the remaining 12 others are still in the bus,” Valdivieso told RPP Noticias.
The emergency services worked all day to rescue the survivors and to locate the deceased among the twisted metal of the bus before the tide covered the vehicle, which belongs to the San Martin Company.
The head of information of the firefighters, Commander Lewis Mejia, told EFE that the rest of the bodies remain inside the damaged vehicle and that they will be taken out on Wednesday, when the rescue efforts are resumed.
Maria Elena Aguilar, the director of Alcides Carrion del Callao Hospital, where four of the injured have been hospitalized, said that the patients have multiple fractures, but are now stabilized and are waiting to undergo operations in the next few hours.
Another survivor was transferred to the Sabogal hospital and the sixth is hospitalized in the Chancay Medical Center.
The accident happened on the Pan American Highway North about 45 kilometers (some 28 miles) from Lima in an area overlooking the ocean known as “The Devil’s Curve.”
According to highway patrol chief Dino Escudero, the bus – which was carrying 57 passengers, a driver and a female crew member – left the northern city of Huaura early Tuesday for Lima.
The accident occurred when the bus collided with a tractor-trailer and fell off the cliff.
The Minister of Transport, Bruno Giuffra, said that the first data taken from the GPS of the vehicles indicated that the cause of the accident might be speeding.